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Friendly wager pays off for Donovan

Alfredsson settles world junior bet by shovelling teammate's backyard rink

Monday, 01.19.2009 / 4:11 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Friendly wager pays off for Donovan
With help from his son Hugo, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson shovels the snow off teammate Shean Donovan's backyard rink to settle a firendly wager on the world junior hockey championship.
Maybe Daniel Alfredsson will never learn.

The Ottawa Senators captain happily paid the price for betting against Team Canada in the gold-medal game of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship. With his five-year-old son Hugo in tow, Alfredsson arrived on a snowmobile Monday afternoon to make good on a friendly wager with teammate Shean Donovan.

"The snow is pretty light," said Alfredsson. "I thought this might be a good day for it ... A good day to pay my dues."

The two sides put a fun bet on the table for the tournament's final game at Scotiabank Place. If Canada vanquished Alfredsson's beloved Sweden, then the Senators captain had to clear off the snow from Donovan's backyard rink. A victory by the Tre Kronor would have put the shovel in Donovan's hands.

Thanks to Canada's 5-1 triumph on Jan. 5, Alfredsson drew the short end of the shovel. Today was the big payoff for Donovan, who was impressed by his teammate's work. Hugo helped his dad complete the task in short order, but Donovan didn't seem to mind.

"(Alfredsson) did a good job," said Donovan. "I guess he's learned maybe not to bet against Canada. Maybe he won't (again), I don't know. But he did a good job. It was a pretty fun bet."

Donovan might have thought differently if the shovel was in the other hand.

"Thank God Canada won because he's got a rink about seven times the size of this one," he said. "It would have been pretty ugly going the other way. Good thing Canada won."

"I guess he's learned maybe not to bet against Canada. Maybe he won't (again), I don't know. But he did a good job. It was a pretty fun bet." - Shean Donovan
Last year, Alfredsson lost a bet to Senators owner Eugene Melnyk when Canada edged the Swedes 3-2 in overtime in the 2008 gold-medal game. He had to wear a Team Canada jersey during a Sens practice to fulfill his end of the wager.

"(Shoveling snow) is definitely harder, both both of them were fun bets," said Alfredsson. "The humiliation part of it, that's what makes it fun, I guess."

But Donovan wasn't about to get a 2-for-1 deal. When he hauled out a Team Canada jersey and said "hey Alfie, I've got something for you to wear," the response was quick and to the point.

"Not part of this bet," Alfredsson said with a wry grin.