Photo credit: AFP, Alexander Nemenov
While they did win their opening game on Thursday, the 3-1 victory over Norway didn't leave the so-called experts planning another gold-medal parade for Canada. While playing the Norwegians was supposed to be, for all intents and purposes, a laugher, the Canadians started slow. To their credit, however, Team Canada got better as the game progressed and in the end, they got the win. On Friday, everyone was curious to see how Canada would fare against another weaker opponent in Austria. Here, the Canadians showed everyone just what they were missing.
Unlike Thursday, Canada wasted little time getting on the board. 5:24 into the contest, Drew Doughty scored his second of the tournament from Chicago's Jonathan Toews to make it 1-0. Then, at the 10:12 mark, Shea Weber continued his success with his second of the tournament to make it 2-0 for the Canadians. Much to the chagrin of Kings fans, the Anaheim duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf recorded the assists.
While they were down by a pair, the game was still relatively close entering the second period. But then, everything that seemed close turned very distant very quickly.
2:39 into the middle frame, Jeff Carter scored to make it 3-0. Patrick Marleau and Sidney Crosby got the assists. But No. 77 wasn't content with the one goal as just 90 seconds later, he scored again - this time on a wraparound - to make it 4-0. Marleau picked up his second helper of the game while St. Louis's Alex Pietrangelo recorded his first-ever Olympic point with the second assist. Then, a little over 10 minutes later, Carter capitalized on a scramble in front of the Austrian goal, netting his third of the contest.
With Team Canada up 5-0, the aforementioned Ryan Getzlaf beat netminder Bernhard Starkbaum to put his country by a pair of field goals.
In the third, Mathias Lange came on in relief of Starkbaum and while he stopped everything he faced, the damage had been done. The Canadians won convincingly by a 6-0 score while Roberto Luongo, while not as busy as his counterparts, stopped all 23 shots he faced to pick up the shutout. Canada, by the way, fired 40 shots against Austria.
Overall, a solid effort by Team Canada - and an effort most were expecting. In regards to the two representatives of the Los Angeles Kings, both Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty are already proving they are the most valuable assets to their country's squad along with the likes of Weber and yes, even Getzlaf and Marleau.
This was a good win entering the weekend but it gets much tougher from here on out as Team Canada will now prepare for a Sunday matchup against a Finland squad that has already scored 14 goals this tournament en route to a 2-0-0 start.