SOCHI, Russia – It was like watching something out of an NHL All-Star Game.
Sidney Crosby skated in, given all the time he needed by the Austrian defense. He passed to Team Canada teammate Patrick Marleau in the slot, who fired it off the left post. Jeff Carter, standing a few feet from the goal line, smacked it into the net with ease.
Team Canada’s third goal of Friday night’s game was deliberate and undefended, the Austrians reduced to mannequins in Canada’s display. It was indicative of the rest of Canada’s 6-0 shutout of Austria, moving to 2-0-0 in the preliminary round of the Sochi Olympics men’s ice hockey tournament in dominating fashion.
Carter, the Los Angeles Kings star forward, had a natural hat trick, the 66th three-goal effort in Olympic history.
Canada peppered the Austrian goal with 46 shots, chasing starter Bernhard Starkbaum after two periods and six goals.
Defenseman Drew Doughty opened the scoring at 5:24 of the first period, sending a soft shot from the point that eluded the right pad of Starkbaum.
Shea Weber made it 2-0 with a blast that traveled around the top of the net and out again. Video review confirmed that it was a goal at 11:12. Like Doughty, it was Weber’s second of the tournament.
Then it was the Jeff Carter show.
Carter scored his first at 2:39 of the second period, from Patrick Marleau and Sidney Crosby. He struck again moments later to make it 4-0 for Canada, as he wrapped the puck around and through Starkbaum. He completed the hat trick just 2:15 later, picking up a loose puck off a save and burying it.
Ryan Getzlaf closed out the scoring with a shorthanded goal, deking Austrian defenseman Matthias Trattnig off his skates and onto his head. Getzlaf’s Anaheim Ducks teammate Corey Perry could have made it worse moments earlier, but failed on a penalty shot attempt.
The closest Austria came to breaking through against Canada was a shot off the post in the first period, but Roberto Luongo was flawless the rest of the way in making 23 saves.
Canada closes out prelims against Finland on Sunday, having outscored its first two foes 9-1.