Hockey fever meets hot buns in Chinatown haven

By Mary Milliken

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Hong Kong immigrant Susanna Ng sells thousands of steamed buns every day from her bakery in Vancouver's Chinatown.

Now she has spent thousands of dollars kitting out her waitresses in the uniform of the moment -- Canada's red ice hockey jersey for the 2010 Winter Games.

"It's Olympic fever. I caught a fever," said Ng between stacks of bamboo bun steamers at the New Town Bakery, a favorite of Vancouver's large Chinese community for 30 years.

"We are going to wear them at least until the end of February."

Or maybe longer if the Canadian men's ice hockey team wins the gold medal in the final match on February 28.

As luck would have it, red is also the auspicious color of two celebrations converging on Sunday -- the first day of the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day.

"This is the day that I have been really nervous about for years and years," said Ng, who expects a triple-sized crowd of Chinese partiers, lovestruck couples and Olympic fans.

Ng and her ice hockey-loving husband have three bakeries around Vancouver, the main one just a few blocks from the Olympic ice hockey venue where the Canadian women's team debuted Saturday with a 18-0 victory over Slovakia.

So does she feel lucky about Canada winning the gold?

"Yes. We are doing good. We have got Luongo," said Ng, referring to one of Canada's goalies, Roberto Luongo, who just happens to play for the Vancouver Canucks down the road.

(Reporting by Mary Milliken; Editing by Frank Pingue)