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    Saturday, February 21, 1998

    Roy takes loss hard

    By AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun
      NAGANO -- More than an hour after Team Canada's 2-1 shootout loss to the Czech Republic, goaltender Patrick Roy finally emerged from the dressing room.
     It took him that long because he had been one of the players picked for a doping test.
     It's an understandable choice. He was absolutely brilliant, as he usually is in crucial games. But he doesn't need any foreign substances to do it.
     He just gets into a mindset and shuts the door. He outduelled Dominik Hasek through 70 minutes, having to face tougher shots, then came within a half inch of extending the shootout indefinitely.
     "That goal, I mean it hit both posts and went in, he said, shaking his head. "I couldn't believe it. I have to be honest with you. I thought I played it well. (Czech opening shooter Robert) Reichel came at me and I backed up. I thought I was in the right spot but he had a great shot. It hit the inside of the post, hit the other post and went in.
     "I think it was a big break for them. You know how much difference there is between that one being in or out?" He held up his hand with the forefinger and thumb a centimetre apart.
     After that, Roy was flawless, stopping Pavel Patera, Martin Rucinsky and Jaromir Jagr.
     "I knew I was in a little bit of trouble when I gave up the first goal," Roy said. "But I said to myself, 'Let's keep it that way and give the team a chance to come back.' It didn't happen.
     "On a breakaway, you just want to do everything well. You want to glide, cut the angle, come back and try to make it as tough as possible on the other guy. That's what I tried to do on the other shooters. I made the save on Patera and Rucinsky, and Jagr hit the side of the net."
     Roy wasn't too happy about Jiri Slegr's goal either, the one that opened the scoring halfway through the third period. Roy was screened and never saw the shot.
     "I think that was a big break for them," he said. "The guy takes a slapshot from the blue line and it went in. I thought it was more bad luck than anything else."
     Roy found the loss hard to take.
     "I'm very disappointed," he said. "It was the only chance in my life to get a gold medal and it's gone. You can't be happy about it. We didn't come here to go after a bronze. That's not the objective."
     It was Roy's first experience with a shootout, a concept he opposes. However, he did find it had its moments.
     "It was fun," he said, "but when you don't win, it's not as much fun."