Canadians crash party at Warroad bar

WARROAD, Minn. - It takes a little nerve to enter a bar in the hometown of Olympian TJ Oshie, wearing the Canadian colors, during the hotly contested men's semi-final hockey game.

But brothers Dion and Carey Hebel didn't shy away from the conflict – in fact they pursued it.

"I dropped my wife off at work this morning and said, 'I'll probably be calling you from jail,'" laughed Dion Hebel, who actually played hockey for Warroad High School, but now lives in Canada.

"It is our game," he playfully boasted. "We let other countries play, you know."

The presence of the Canadian brothers was not lost in Izzy's Lounge, the Warroad sports bar owned by Izzy Marvin, uncle of Olympic skater Gigi Marvin.

The bar was standing room only again on Friday for the men's game, just as it had been the day before when the U.S. women were beaten by Canada in the gold medal game.

"Hate to lose to our neighbors up north two days in a row," said Izzy Marvin during the game. "Once was enough."

Located just six miles from the Canadian border, Warroad has plenty of opportunity to rub elbows with its neighbors to the north.

Canadians are part of the workforce at the Marvin Windows factory, the city's largest employer.

Some might compare the game to a Packers/Vikings showdown. "I think it's bigger than that," said Dion Hebel. His brother Carey agreed, saying, "It's not state against state, it's county against country."

When Canada scored the winning goal, the brothers cheered loudly, earning a few catcalls from the Americans. "You guys do have your passports with, right?" shouted one fan wearing USA colors.

But the Hebel brothers got the last laugh, as the clock ticked down to a 1-0 win for Canada. "It's beautiful," grinned Carey. "Absolutely beautiful."

Four more years of bragging rights in the northern border battle.


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