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Published February 28, 2010, 06:40 PM

Parise forces OT, but Canada wins gold

Crosby's goal gives title to host country

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Sid the Kid has kicked off a nationwide celebration in the hockey-obsessed nation of Canada.

Sidney Crosby's goal at 7:40 of overtime gave Canada a tense, 3-2 victory over the United States to earn its second men's hockey gold medal in the last three Olympics. Crosby's shot from the lower part of the left circle eluded goalie Ryan Miller, the tournament MVP.

In one of the greatest games in Olympic history, Canada's collection of all-stars held off a young, desperate U.S. team that had staged a furious comeback after falling behind 2-0 to force overtime.

Crosby said his game-winning goal "was a dream come true."

With Canada less than a minute away from celebrating the gold medal that its nation expected, former UND player Zach Parise tied it with 24.4 seconds left in regulation. That goal came with Miller off the ice for an extra attacker.

The moment he scored, the sighs of disappointed fans probably could be heard from Vancouver to the Maritimes. Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins star who had been scoreless the previous two games, brought back the cheers with his second post-regulation game-winner of the tournament. He scored from the left circle. Crosby also beat Switzerland in a shootout during the round robin.

Former UND player Jonathan Toews scored in the first period to give Canada a 1-0 lead.

The victory gives Canada a sweep in hockey as its women's team also beat the U.S. Canada finished with 14 gold medals, the most of any nation. The U.S. won the medal race with 37 total medals, including nine gold.