12.31.2010

2010 - the Golden Year




2010 was a brilliant year that saw things of amazement and things that we'll only see once in a lifetime!  I think everyone will recall the 2010 Winter Olympics in my[/our] hometown of Vancouver and Whistler, eh?  I remember those days like they were yesterday and I doubt we'll forget them any time soon.  Let's take look back at our wonderful year, that may not have started on the best of notes.


January

5th: IIHF World Junior Championship

Going for their sixth gold medal in a row, Canada came back from behind to tie up the game 5-5 to push for OT.  But to most people's predictions and hopes, Canada saw their sixth straight gold medal slip from their grasps as John Carlson scored 4:21 into the OT period to win the match for Team USA 6-5.  A nation's hopes and dreams for six were crushed in seconds and tears streamed down even the strongest of people's faces.

Not all things are horrible.  Jordan Eberle was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, named to the All-star team, and won the IIHF's best player award in the forward position.  Other members of the all-star team: goalie Benjamin Conz (SUI), defencemen Alex Pietrangelo (CAN) and John Carlson (USA), forwards Derek Stepan (USA) and Nino Niederreiter (SUI).  Benjamin Conz also won the IIHF's best player award in the goalie position, and Alex Pietrangelo won the defenceman position.

After their 6-5 win, Team USA took the gold to defend in Buffalo, NY as they hosted the 2011 World Juniors.

30th: Australia Open, Women's singles

Serena Williams won her fifth Australian Open title, her twelfth grand slam title, in two sets (6-4, 3-6, 6-2) against wild card Justine Henin.

31st: Australian Open, Men's singles

Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray in straight sets to win his sixteenth grand slam title, his fourth Australian Open title.


February

5th: Toronto Maple Leafs' general manager Brian Burke's son Brendan Burke dies in a car accident at the age of 21.  Brendan Burke was known for being openly gay, and being the first to be so in the hockey community.

7th: NFL Superbowl XLIV

The New Orleans Saints became the Superbowl champs for the first time in franchise history after a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts.  Although the Colts were the favourite to win, the Saints proved that heart and passion can win as they bring the Superbowl trophy to the tested city of New Orleans.   

11th: Fashion designer Alexander McQueen dies at the age of 40 years old.

12th - 28th: the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games

Between seventeen days, Canada and its Canadians see their flag go up during the medal ceremonies twenty-six times, and heard the 'O Canada' sung (excluding the random strike-ups during games and on the SkyTrain) 14 times.
Jennifer Heil won the first medal for Canada on the 13th.  Heil won silver in the women's moguls.  But just about twenty-four hours later, Alexandre Bilodeau won Canada's first goal on Canadian soil EVER. And that made Canada's hand holding the gold-medal-winning gun trigger-happy.  The golden spree was capped off with Sidney Crosby's golden goal at 7:40 of OT to win 3-2 over the Americans, and the Canadian women's team winning gold against the Americans as well with a score of 2-0.

The men's gold medal made Mike Babcock the first ever coach to join the Triple Gold Club.  Babcock won the 2008 Stanley Cup and 2004 IIHF World Championship along with the 2010 Olympic gold.

But let's not forget about Joannie Rochette.  Joannie Rochette probably had one of the most emotional stories that made an entire nation feel the same emotion together.  Two days before Joannie skated on the ice for the competition, Joannie's mother died of a heart attack.  Where many would withdraw to mourn and be with her family, she remained in the competition and skated, painting the ice with her emotions.  By doing so (and with support from her dad) she won bronze, but that bronze is probably worth more than any gold.

March
13th: Manny Pacquiao successfully defends his WBO Welterweight title against Joshua Clottey.
27th: Georges St-Pierre defeats Dan Hardy and wins by unanimous decision to retain his welterweight title at UFC 111.

April

11th: 2010 Masters Tournament
Phil Mickelson wins his third Masters title, finishing the tournament with three shots over the runner-up, Lee Westwood. 
May

9th: Chelsea F.C. was named the Barclay's Premier League champions for the third time in club history with 86 points.  Didier Drogba was award the Golden Boot for being the Premier League's top goalscorer.

12th: UEFA Europa League, Finals

Atlético Madrid won their first Europa League title with a 2-1 win over Fulham F.C. after added extra team.  Atlético's Forlán got both of the club's goals at 32' and 116' 
16th: F.C. Barcelona was named La Liga's champions for the second-consecutive time, winning their 20th title in club history.  It took till the last match of the season to determine the winner because of Barca's and Real Madrid's close contention all season long.  The 4-0 win over Valladolid secured the team's 99 point win.  Lionel Messi won La Liga's Pichichi trophy for top goalscorer, and Victor Valdes won the Zamora trophy for the best goals-to-games ratio.

22nd: UEFA Champions League, Finals

Italian super giants claim their third Champions League title with a 2-nil win over the German giants Bayern Munich.  Both goals came from Inter's Milito

23rd: 2010 Memorial Cup Finals

The Windsor Spitfires win their second-consecutive Memorial Cup with a 9-1 win over the host team, Brandon Wheat Kings.  Taylor Hall of the Spitfires won the tournament's Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy for the tournament's MVP and the Ed Chynoweth Trophy for the leading scorer.  Hall was also named to the All-star team.  Toni Rajala (Brandon Wheat Kings) was awarded the George Parsons Trophy for the most sportsmanlike player.  And Hap Emms Memorial Trophy for the top goalie was awarded to the Calgary Hitmen's Martin Jones.  The all-star team: goalie Martin Jones (Hitmen), defencemen Travis Hamonic (Wheat Kings) and Cam Fowler (Spitfires), and forwards Taylor Hall (Spitfires), Jimmy Bunick (Hitmen), and Matt Calvert (Wheat Kings).

23rd: IIHF World Championship

Czech Republic won their sixth World Championship title with a 2-1 win over the Russians.  The MVP award for the tournament and the best goalkeeper award went to Dennis Endras (GER), as well as being named as the goalie to the All-star team.

June

6th: French Open, Men's singles

Rafael Nadal defeats Robin Soderling in straight sets in the French Open to win back the #1 spot on the ATP Men's ranking.

9th: 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6

The Chicago Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Cinderella team of the Philadelphia Flyers.  A wonky goal made by Patrick Kane won the Blackhawks their first Stanley Cup in forty-nine years.

Jonathan Toews won the Conn Smythe award and became the youngest person inducted into the Triple Gold Club.

14th: 2010 Calder Cup Finals, Game 6

The Hershey Bears' 4-0 win over the Texas stars gave them their eleventh Calder Cup in the franchise's history, and their second-consecutive Calder win.

17th: 2010 NBA Finals, Game 7

The LA Lakers win their second consecutive NBA championship series with a thrilling 83-79 win over the Boston Celtics.  Kobe Bryant was won the finals' MVP award, this being his second-consecutive as well.  The Game 7 win gave the Lakers their sixteenth championship title, and they now only trail the Celtics with sixteen wins to Boston's seventeen.

20th: 2010 U.S. Open

Graeme McDowell becomes the first European in 40 years (since Tony Jacklin in 1970) to win the U.S. golf open.  McDowell finished the open with a score of 284 to be at par.

25th: 2010 NHL Entry Draft

Windsor Spitfires' Taylor Hall got drafted #1 overall by the Edmonton Oilers at the NHL Entry Draft despite being ranked 2nd in the scouting report.  The Boston Bruins selected Tyler Seguin (Plymouth Whalers) for the 2nd overall pick, followed by Erik Gudbranson (Kingston Frontenacs) for the Florida Panthers.

July

4th:2010 Wimbledon Championships, men's singles

Rafael Nadal, the world's new #1 in tennis, wins his second Wimbledon with a straight-set defeat over Tomas Berdych. 

11th: 2010 FIFA World Cup

After a 30 days of gruelling hard work and endless matches that seemed too close to call, Spain lived up to their giant name as the world's best football team and won the country's first World Cup.  Two of the best teams in the world (Netherlands and Spain) squared off in the finals, but only after extra time was there a goal and a winner.  Spain won the world's most coveted trophy, the World Cup, with a 1-nil win over the Dutch in South Africa.  Andreas Iniesta was named the game's man of the match.

Though the Dutch were the team that went undefeated in the tournament, all the winning probably tired them out.  Spain took a big whoop in the butt on their first match against Switzerland (with the result of them losing to the Swiss nil-1) and got their act together to win the golden globe.  I can guarantee you that around the world, Spain supporters celebrated.  You can bet I did.

18th: 2010 Open Championship

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen wins his first major title at the 2010 Open with a score of 272, 16 under par.

August

15th: 2010 PGA Championship

German Martin Kaymer finishes the PGA tour with a score of 277 to be 11 under par and to win the PGA Championship.  

September

13th: 2010 US Open, men's singles

Rafael Nadal wins the US Open in four sets over Novak Djokovic.  This win was Nadal's first US Open title and ninth grand slam of his pro-career.

November

1st: 2010 MLB World Series, Game 5

The San Francisco Giants become the 2010 World Series champs in a 4-1 win over the Texas Rangers.  The win gave the Giants their first World Series win since they were in New York in 1954.  The Giants' Edgar Renteria was named MVP.

13th: Manny Pacquiao pretty much destroys Antonio Margarito to win the WBC super welterweight title by unanimous decision.

19th: Pat Burns (former coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils) falls victim to colon cancer that had spread to his lungs.  Other than his illustrious coaching career - winning the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003 - he will be remembered for his contributions to the community off the ice.

28th: 2010 CFL Grey Cup

In Edmonton, Alberta, the defending Grey Cup winners, the Montreal Alouettes, kicked-off against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a re-match of the 97th Grey Cup finals where the Riders lost to the Als after a too-many men on the field call was made.
The Alouettes won  the game 21-18, winning their second-consecutive Grey Cup, being the first time to do so since thirteen years when the Toronto Argonauts of 1997 did the same thing.

Jamel Richardson of the Alouettes won the MVP award, and Keith Shologan of the Roughriders won the Most Valuable Canadian award.

December

11th: Georges St-Pierre defends his title against big-mouth Josh Koscheck by unanimous decision at UFC 124.

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