2014-02-16 03:42 AM
SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Taylor Kitsch had one of the best seats in the house to witness the U.S. beat Russia 3-2 in a heart-pounding shootout Saturday at the Sochi Games.
The Canadian actor is in the Navy SEAL drama "Lone Survivor," a movie that might help him go from being known for his role in "Friday Night Lights" on TV to becoming a big-screen star.
For him, hockey is personal.
And, he loves it.
"I'm Canadian, right?" he asked rhetorically.
The 32-year-old Kitsch played the sport for 20 years, starting when he was 3, and became friends with Team Canada and New York Rangers forward Rick Nash.
He has become friendly with NHL officials as well, setting him up for a ticket to watch the Americans and Russians in a first-class area, near center ice toward the top of Bolshoy Ice Dome.
"It's a dream come true," Kitsch said as he looked down at the ice as both teams were warming up for the second period.
The actor met Canadian and Tampa Bay Lighting forward Martin St. Louis during the first intermission.
Kitsch, who was in Moscow earlier in the week to promote "Lone Survivor," jumped at the opportunity to watch hockey at the Winter Olympics after missing the Vancouver Games -- in his hometown -- four years ago because he was filming "John Carter."
"I was in London, of all places," he lamented.
Kitsch wished he could stay for more hockey games -- he also watched Canada beat Norway -- but he's scheduled to leave Sunday night.
"This is so great," he said.
-- By Larry Lage -- Twitter http://twitter.com/llage
Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu