Team Canada improved to 2-0 in preliminary-round play at the Sochi Olympics, getting a natural hat trick from Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter and 23 saves from Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo in a 6-0 thumping of Austria on Friday.
San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau assisted on all three of Carter’s second-period goals and now has four helpers in Canada’s first two games. Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the Sharks didn’t record any points, but was a plus-2 on the day.
Canada doubled up the Austrians in shots on goal, 46-23 and took the lead just 5:24 into the game on a goal by Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, with the lone assist going to Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators made it 2-0 Canada at the 10:12 mark, assisted by Anaheim Ducks Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
Canada held a 2-0 lead at the first intermission, but the Jeff Carter show was about to begin.
Carter scored his first at 2:39 of the second period, with assists going to Marleau and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Marleau and Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues assisted Carter’s second score at 4:09 of the second period and Carter’s third tally at 14:33 of the second was set up by Marleau and Weber.
Getzlaf added an unassisted shorthanded tally at 16:48 to close the scoring.
Bernhard Starkbaum made 25 saves in the Austrian net before he was pulled to start the third period. Mathias Lange stopped all 15 shots he faced. Starkbaum played for Brynas IF in the Swedish Hockey League while Lange plays for the Iserlohn Roosters in Germany.
Canada is 2-0 and has six points in Group B, the same as Finland. The Finns, however, have a one-goal advantage in differential, plus-9 to plus-8. Canada would appear to be well positioned to earn a bye into the quarterfinals, with the winners of the three groups earning those byes, along with the best second-place finisher.
Canada wraps up pool play on Sunday at 9 a.m. Pacific against Finland to decide Pool B.