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Carey Price Flying High

Team Canada goaltender and Montreal Canadiens future prospect is making a name for himself in the eyes of hockey fans across the nation.

After registering shutouts in two of Canada's first four wins, Price sparkled in todays shootout win over the U.S. He was especially excellent during the game and the overtime period that followed.

With the best shooters lined up by both sides in the breakaway, Price stopped the United States' Peter Mueller when it mattered most. He has giving Canada a shot at a third straight gold medal.

Canada will play the winner of the Russia - Sweden game.

The gold medal around his neck is only one of Price's priorities.

The Habs prospect is driven to make the NHL Canadiens as soon as possible and with that goal, he hopes to one day provide more opportunity for native Canadian children to have more possibilities of participation in the minor sport.

Many may not know, Price's mother Lynda is the chief of the Ulkatcho First nation in the small community of Anahim Lake, B.C. Price himself does not yet have full native status, but he will soon be applying for it in hopes to help expose more native kids to hockey. While proud of her son, she has encouraged him to become a role model with status.

"She's a very dedicated woman and a real inspiration to me", says Price, before pointing out that the native kids do not have the same chances to play the game, being from smaller communities.

Price's parents went above, literally, and beyond to enable their son to play hockey in his youth. When he first donned the pads at 10, the nearest competitive league was at a rink in Williams Lake, a 320 km trip on uneasy roads. Making three round trips a week, Carey and his father Jerry eventually needed a condo in town for stayovers.

Later, a Piper Cherokee, a four seat aiplane costing $13,000 shortened the trips. The time in the air, lent itself to the father and son becoming also the best of friends. Carey even learned to fly the plane.

"To be able to learn to fly at a young age was a thrill," Carey Price said. "Sometimes when the wind blew hard, it was more challenging. But I picked it up easy enough."

Jerry, also a goaltender who was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1978, had his career cut short after a few seasons in the minors because of knee problems. He is an administrator of an adult learning centre, and along with Lynda and their daughter, Kayla, are in Leksand cheering Canada on at the world junior tournament.

"My parents have been so supportive and provided every opportunity for me to succeed," the butterfly-style playing Price said. "I will never forget what they have done for me, and I want to repay them in some way down the road."

With files from the Globe and Mail.