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    Wednesday, February 18, 1998

    Canada gets Whyte-washed

    By CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun
      She stood accused of a comment even Howard Stern might have found insensitive, and she drove Team Canada to distraction.
     It was perhaps fitting that it was Team USA forward Sandra Whyte who put Canada's best women hockey players out of their misery.
      Whyte is a 27-year-old Harvard graduate who admits that some decidedly un-Ivy-League trash talk has escaped her lips on occasion. She set up the Americans' first two goals and then sealed their gold medal with an empty-netter at Big Hat, giving the United States the first Olympic victory in women's hockey and sending its fans into a flag-waving frenzy.
     The silence of the Canadians and the wild U.S. celebration stood in contrast to the controversy and accusations which filled the air Saturday after the American 7-4 win over Canada in the last game of the round-robin.
     Canadian forward Danielle Goyette, whose father passed away from Alzheimer's disease just before the Games began, left the ice in a fury.
     There were accusations from Canada that Whyte had said to Goyette: "Dedicate that to your father."
     "I did make a comment," said Whyte, her gold medal glinting around her neck, "but I have no idea how she got her father out of it. It was not a nice thing. But I was shocked when the coach came into the dressing room and that was the first thing that he addressed.
     "I said something, but it was definitely not that. Her father was not even on anybody's mind except hers."
     Whyte wouldn't say what it was that she said, other than it involved a four-letter word and she was embarrassed for saying it.
     Whyte, who characterized herself as a player who does not lose her cool in a game, said she was upset with something Goyette had done, but would not say what.
     "Some of my teammates find it comical I was involved in it," she said. "I have to say it made me lose my focus a bit. I was bewildered and disturbed. It was a very disturbing thing."
     Canada did not find her performance in the gold-medal game funny at all.