Anson Carter never thought the goal would mean so much to Canadians. Yesterday, the New York Rangers winger joined the likes of the Rolling Stones and comedian Mike Myers when he was presented with the key to the city of Toronto.
"It's a tremendous thrill," the soft-spoken Carter said during a presentation in Toronto mayor Mel Lastman's office. "I really don't see myself in the same light as those people. They've accomplished much more over the course of time.
"But it's a tremendous honour to accept the key to the city where you grew up. My words really can't describe what I'm feeling right now."
Carter, born and raised in suburban Scarborough, became an instant hero May 11 with his overtime goal which lifted Canada to gold at the World Hockey Championship after a 3-2 OT win over Sweden.
"You all remember and you all keep seeing all the time about Paul Henderson and what he did for Team Canada," said Lastman. "Well, that's what we're going to be seeing for I don't know how many years - Anson Carter scoring that overtime goal.
"What a champion and what a day for Canada."
Accompanied by his parents, Carter looked somewhat uncomfortable accepting the key. He asked that the engraving on the key honour "the Carter family" as opposed to singling himself out.
"It's a tremendous privilege that definitely doesn't go unnoticed by myself and my family," Carter said. "And like Mr. Lastman said, you can't achieve success without a strong backbone, a strong family.
"And that's one thing I've been fortunate to have."
Carter also won gold at the 1997 World Championship and the 1994 World Junior Championship, but this year's championship was particularly special for him.
"The beautiful thing is that nobody expected us to win except the guys in our dressing room," he said.
It's been an enjoyable summer for Carter, who repeatedly gets thanked and congratulated by fans and fellow players around the league.
"All those guys were really proud," Carter said of fellow NHLers calling him. "I think and I hope that it will change a lot of guys' minds when it comes to playing in the World Championship. That it is a fun time and a fun opportunity.
"When everyone starts playing in September no one plans on having their season end in April. The Worlds give the chance to guys to continue their season."