ESCANABA - Sunday was a glorious day for hockey fans as the gold medal game at the Olympics showcased a sport that is beautiful to watch when it is played at that level.
Canada beat USA 3-2 in overtime when relentless Sid Crosby slipped a shot past Ryan Miller, a former Michigan State goalie.
The finale demonstrated what hockey should be, not the farce perpetuated in the NHL that is marred by too many fights.
There were no fights Sunday and only three or four penalties, allowing the most skilled players in the world to show their skills at the highest level.
If NHL players can perform that way - and all of them are members of NHL teams - in the Olympics, why not all the time?
Speaking of the Olympics, Mike Zuidema of Escanaba had a bigger interest in the hockey games than most area people.
Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski, one of the Team USA standouts, played for Zuidema for six days at a USA hockey camp at Michigan Tech when he was 15.
That was the year before Escanaba High School hockey coach Charlie Elliott played on Zuidema's team at Tech.
Another USA player was Phil Kessel, whose dad, Phil, was a left-handed quarterback at Marquette High School and Northern Michigan University some 30 years ago.
* A pair of former area All-U.P. players have given up their college basketball dream.
Sophomore Michelle Carne of Escanaba left the St. Mary's, Minn. College women's team at the holiday break while freshman Josh Mickelson of Manistique left the St. Norbert College men's team in the early stages of the season.
Both wanted to focus more on their academics after realizing the many demands of participating in athletics.
Another former All-U.P. player has transferred. Freshman Joe Simon of Marquette left Lake Superior State to attend class at Northern Michigan University, where he plans to resume playing next season.
Two other All-U.P. girls did not make the Michigan Tech women's team, Kelsey Roberts of Kingsford and Sam Manderfield of Houghton. Manderfield, who landed a basketball scholarship, sustained a knee injury during summer workouts. Roberts was a walk-on prospect.
* Diana Moberg, a former cheerleader and golfer at Gladstone High School, is now coaching the Green Bay Preble competitive cheer team.
The Hornets recently finished third in the state tournament after winning their regional. A year ago the Hornets advanced to the national finals.
Moberg, who played golf at Carthage College for four years, is a teacher at St. Bernard's elementary school and works in the Green Bay Country Club pro shop.