Thornton will be playing for his country for the sixth time -- won a gold medal at the 1997 World Junior Championship (was the team's youngest player at 17 years of age) as well as winning the 2004 World Cup of Hockey tournament; won a silver at the 2005 World Championship.
One of his great international hockey moments was the Final game of the 2004 World Cup of Hockey against Finland -- playing on a checking line, with Shane Doan and Kris Draper, the trio scored two of Canada's three goals in a 3-2 win. The line also was effective in shutting down Finland's top line of Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne and Jere Lehtinen.
Was the top scorer and named tournament Most Valuable Player of the 2005 World Championship, playing on the top offensive line with Philadelphia's Simon Gagne and Columbus' Rick Nash.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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