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Carter’s hat trick leads Canada past Austria 6-0

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AP Photo
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Jeff Carter scored three consecutive goals in the second period, Roberto Luongo made 23 saves, and Canada beat Austria 6-0 Friday to take a commanding position in preliminary-round play at the Olympic hockey tournament.

Shea Weber and Ryan Getzlaf each had a goal and an assist in the Canadians’ second win in two nights in Sochi. Their star-studded lineup rolled over undermanned Austria with 46 shots and relentless waves of offense, starting with Drew Doughty’s goal in the opening minutes before Carter’s natural hat trick in an 11:54 span.

Bernhard Starkbaum gave up six goals in the first two periods before Mathias Lange replaced him for the third for Austria, which dropped to 0-2.

After playing alongside Sidney Crosby in the opener, Carter moved among Canada’s four lines as the spare forward. The Los Angeles Kings goal-scorer made the most of his new assignment, camping near the Austrian net and scoring all three times on short shots with assists from Patrick Marleau.

Luongo was tested several times in his first Olympic appearance since going 5-0 in Vancouver and winning the gold-medal overtime game four years ago. The Canucks goalie improved to 7-1 with two shutouts in Olympic play over his three trips to the games.

Carey Price started the Canadians’ opener in Sochi, and coach Mike Babcock hasn’t announced who will start the preliminary-round finale against Finland. With all of the offense at Canada’s disposal, the decision might not matter until the semifinals in a week.

Canada didn’t score in the first period of its Olympic opener, but Doughty barely waited five minutes in the second game. The Los Angeles defenseman floated a long wrist shot through traffic, somehow beating Starkbaum for his second goal in Sochi.

A few minutes later, Weber accepted a drop pass from Corey Perry and fired the NHL’s hardest slap shot underneath Starkbaum’s left arm. The puck ricocheted in and out of the net so quickly that the goal light never went on, but the referees knew what most fans couldn’t see.

After Carter completed his hat trick with 5:27 left in the second period on an easy tip-in, no Canadian fans tossed a hat onto the Bolshoy ice. Getzlaf then scored with a nifty backhand in the slot.

At least Starkbaum stopped Perry on a penalty shot in the second period.

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