Vancouver, British Columbia (CNN) -- Thousands of Canadians turned the streets of Vancouver into rivers of red on Sunday in jubilant celebration of the country's Olympic gold-medal win in men's ice hockey.
Canada defeated the United States 3-2 in overtime, with national hero Sidney Crosby scoring the winning goal in the hard-fought game.
The win capped off a historic Winter Olympics for the host nation just hours before the closing ceremonies. The country took home a record 14 gold medals -- the most in Winter Olympics history.
Fans spilled out of the exits at Canada Hockey Place after the medal ceremony, "clanging cowbells and screaming like madmen," according to Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn.
"I'll remember this day for the rest of my life as will all Canadians who are here tonight," one fan at a Vancouver viewing told CNN affiliate CTV in Canada.
Police told liquor stores in Vancouver to close early at 2 p.m. -- about an hour before the game ended -- ahead of the celebrations. Lines of people were seen at one store 30 minutes before the game even started.
In Toronto, officials were forced to close down streets due to swelling masses of revelers waving Canadian flags and standing shoulder-to-shoulder in some of the city's main intersections, video showed. And in downtown Vancouver, people swamped the city's main Robson Square.
Strangers high-fived each other in the street and fans were seen jumping onto cars, hugging each other, singing the country's national anthem and chanting "Ole!" and "This is our game."
The celebrations were the culmination of a Winter Games that got off to a rocky start, with warmer-than-usual weather that forced delays in some early contests, and the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during a training run hours before the opening ceremony.
The feeling of celebration and resiliency was being carried into the night's closing ceremonies. Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette -- whose mother died of a heart attack just days before her bronze-medal-winning performances -- was set to carry the nation's flag before thousands in attendance at BC Place.
CNN's Steve Almasy contributed to this report.