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There's something under the ice at the Halifax Metro Centre for the world junior hockey championship, but ice technician Kelly Saunders won't say what it is.

Ever since Edmonton ice maker Trent Evans buried a loonie under the centre dot in Salt Lake City's E-Center, where the Canadian men's and women's hockey teams won Olympic gold medals in February, it has become almost standard for Canadian sports teams to have a good-luck charm in the surface beneath their feet.

Saunders, who has been making ice at the Metro Centre for 16 years, deflected questions by saying the Canadian team's karma at this tournament will come from the ice, made of Canadian water.

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"We hope it's still there," Saunders said.

"If we say anything now, other countries might get upset.

"I don't want the IIHF [International Ice Hockey Federation]coming down on me."

During the Olympics, Evans was ordered to use something besides a loonie as a centre-ice marker. He applied a splotch of gold paint, but left the loonie under the ice.

Halifax residents at two skating parties before the world championship believed a good-luck token was planted at the centre faceoff circle.

"They kicked the ice down to the cement looking for a loonie," he said.

When the Salt Lake loonie was retrieved after Canada won the men's Olympic championship for the first time in 50 years, it was given to team manager Wayne Gretzky, who turned it over to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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A book was later written about what has become known as the Lucky Loonie.

Saunders said he hasn't spoken to Evans, who has sparked a rash of implantations since the Olympics.

During a shinny rental at General Motors Place in March, a Vancouver Canucks fan stuck a loonie in the ice near the Canucks' bench, but the club's brass took it out on the eve of the first-round National Hockey League playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings, citing safety concerns.

When the John Labatt Centre was completed in London, Ont., in October, a beer cap from the hometown brewery was imbedded in the ice in hopes of bringing the London Knights, who have never won an Ontario Hockey League championship, some luck.

The concept has popped up at international sporting events other than hockey.

When Canada's Davis Cup tennis team beat Chile in Calgary in April, court installer Ron Reardon installed a loonie under the court's net during construction of the playing surface.

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Randy Ferbey of Edmonton won a Canadian curling championship in Calgary in March and a world title in Bismarck, N.D., in April with a Canadian and Alberta flag pin under the ice in both arenas.

In Bismarck, Canadian alternate Dan Holowaychuk had arranged with the American icemakers to have that done in exchange for a banner signed by the Canadian team.

An Edmonton Eskimos fan claimed to have buried a loonie at midfield and a penny from where converts were kicked in the Grey Cup at Commonwealth Stadium in November, but that didn't help the Eskimos, as they lost to the Montreal Alouettes.

The story of the loonie has continued to grow.

Hockey Hall of Fame officials had to put the Lucky Loonie under plastic because so many people wanted to touch it and the coin was getting worn down.

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