Sport New York Rangers player Wayne Gretzky in his final career game

Wayne Gretzky, ice hockey’s greatest player,  was born in 1961 in Ontario, Canada, where the sport is more a religion than a hobby. He first skated at the age of two on a rink that his dad Walter had made in the garden of their family home. At six, Gretzky was playing in an under-10s team. His jersey was too big for him, so he started to tuck in the right side of it, a superstition that stuck with him throughout his career.

Hockey: Germany's golden goal sinks Britain

Germany's men struck with a golden goal to lift the Four Nations title with a 3-2 win as Great Britain squandered a 2-0 lead here. The hosts had forged an impressive advantage as Barry Middleton scored with a sublime lob and then James Tindall fired home a penalty corner.

Hockey: Germans end England World Cup dream

England's Hockey World Cup campaign ground to a halt today as they were beaten 4-1 by Germany in the semi-finals.

Hockey: England to meet arch-rivals Germany in the semi-finals

England will face Germany in tomorrow's World Cup semi-final after the latter beat New Zealand 5-2 to top Pool A yesterday. The Netherlands lost to South Korea 2-1 but joined Germany in the semi-finals where they will meet Pool B winner Australia.

Hockey: England pipped to top spot after loss to Spain

England slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Spain in their final group match at the World Cup in New Delhi yesterday.

Hockey: England stave off India to reach World semi

England claimed a place in the semi-finals of the Hockey World Cup with a game to spare after beating the hosts India 3-2 in Delhi. Victories in their first four games mean England are into the last four, but they were forced to withstand a fierce fightback from India in Saturday's match.

Hockey: Mantell's injury upsets English progress toward last four

England can take a huge step towards a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup if they overcome hosts India in Delhi today; with the Indians having played three and lost two, putting them out of the race for the next round, their chances look promising.

Hockey: England keep winning at World Cup

England made it two wins out of two at the World Cup in New Delhi when they came from behind to beat South Africa 6-4 yesterday. Marvin Harper opened the scoring for South Africa after 10 minutes, but Richard Mantell levelled with the first of his two penalty corner goals four minutes later, and England were in front in the 23rd minute when Rob Moore found the net.

Hockey: England open World Cup by shocking favourites

James Tindall struck twice to enable England to pull off a surprise 3-2 victory over the tournament favourites Australia on the opening day of the men's World Cup in New Delhi yesterday.

Stand by for an ice storm in Vancouver

Canada survive late shock to set up gold showdown with electrifying Americans

James Lawton: Canada driven by Tigerish desire to succeed in struggle on the ice

At a time when England's football team is rent by the repercussions of a bad case of the sweet life going wrong, you can only marvel, so far at least, at the ferociously single-minded approach of Canada's ice hockey men.

James Lawton: Canadians dream of grand finale

There might be a disgruntled muskrat somewhere deep in Manitoba or Saskatchewan but the rest of Canada has rarely been quite so exultantly at peace with itself.

Canada relief after hockey team beat Russia

Canada's dream of men's ice hockey gold stayed alive thanks to an impressive 7-3 quarter-final win over Olympic title rivals Russia.

James Lawton: Canadians fear return of a miracle

Canadian manhood is, barring some unimaginable disaster in the small hours of this morning, on the line today when the virtuoso Russian stick-handlers stand in the way of the ultimate climax to these XXI Olympics.

James Lawton: The great red face-off

Ice hockey's two great stars, from Canada and Russia, are on collision course
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