Carter bags hat trick as Canada routs Austria
Canada's Jeff Carter (L) scores past Austria's goalkeeper Bernhard Starkbaum during the Men's Ice Hockey Group B match at the Bolshoy Arena during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 14, 2014 - by Alexander Nemenov
Jeff Carter made the most of his limited ice time in the second period by scoring a hat-trick as Canada routed Austria 6-0 in front of a crowd of 8,267 at the Bolshoi Ice Dome arena.
Carter scored twice in just 90 seconds off a pair of turnovers and then bagged the hat-trick goal during a scramble in front of the Austrian net. He achieved all that despite playing just two minutes and 42 seconds in the period.
"You got to make the most of your opportunities," said Carter. "It started to feel like everything was going in.
"I didn't have to shoot many of them. I just kind of drove to the net on all of them. I was lucky enough to have a couple of pucks bounce out to me."
In other preliminary round games Friday, Finland trounced Norway 6-1, the Czech Republic beat Latvia 4-2 and Sweden blanked Switzerland 1-0.
Defencemen Drew Doughty and Shea Weber and forward Ryan Getzlaf also scored for heavily-favoured Canada who improved to 2-0.
Carter, who plays in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings, said this was his first natural hat-trick (three consecutive goals in a game) since he scored one two years ago in Nashville.
- 'This is awesome' -
"This is awesome," he said. "You grow up watching the Olympics and hoping one day you will have the opportunity to do something like this."
Doughty and Weber got the ball rolling with first period goals as Canada's defencemen scored four of their first five goals in the tournament.
Weber's goal was a 160 kilometre-and-hour slapshot that froze Austrian goaltender Bernhard Starkman in his tracks.
The puck went straight in and out of the net so quickly that referee Dave Jackson had to call for a video review to see what actually happened.
"If you can get that offence from your defencemen it is a huge help," said Canada's Sidney Crosby. "Us forwards need to chip in a few more."
Carter started the play on his first goal by coming out of the penalty box and forcing a turnover. He then got the puck back in front of the net and fired it home.
Carter's second goal was the result of another turnover as Patrick Marleau took the puck away from Starkbaum behind the net and got it to Carter who skated out front and scored.
"When they make mistakes you want to make sure you capitalize," Crosby said. "Turnovers come from guys working hard, using their speed and finishing them off."
- Oldest player to score in Olympics -
Carter, who plays in the NHL for the Los Angeles Kings, got the hat-trick marker with 5:27 left in the second off a goal-mouth scramble.
Finnish star Selanne became the oldest player to score in the Winter Olympics with his first goal of the Games as Finland dominated Norway.
Selanne, who is 43 years, seven months and 11 days, scored on a wrist shot at 5:46 of the first period.
"Having that record makes me feel very old. But I'm just happy that the older guys can still rock," said Selanne.
It was the 21st career Olympic goal for Selanne who is the all-time leading scorer in the Winter Games with 39 points.
Daniel Alfredsson scored with 7:21 left in the third period to lift Sweden to a 1-0 win over Switzerland in a rematch of the final of the 2013 World Championships.
Alfredsson drove to the net and hammered home a loose puck for the Swedes who clinched a spot in the quarter-finals with their second straight win in Group C.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots for the shutout for Sweden, who beat Switzerland for the gold medal at last year's World Championships.
Sweden played their first game without star forward Henrik Zetterberg who pulled out of the tournament earlier on Friday with a herniated disc.
The Czechs bounced back from a 4-2 loss to Sweden on Wednesday by beating Latvia on Friday.