Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Jeff Carter recorded a natural hat trick in the second period to carry Canada to a 6-0 rout of Austria Friday in the preliminary round of the men’s hockey event at the Sochi Winter Games.
Drew Doughty, Shea Weber and Ryan Getzlaf also scored while Roberto Luongo recorded a shutout with 23 saves as the Canadians notched their second win in the event.
The Canadians will next face Finland for first place in Group B and an automatic berth into the quarterfinals.
The loser can also receive an automatic berth into the quarterfinals or get a better draw in the qualification round, but it could depend on goal differential. After two games, the Finns are plus-9; the Canadians are plus-8.
Austria, after a relatively strong showing in an 8-4 loss to Finland on Thursday, was clearly overmatched against the powerhouse Canadians.
The Austrians were outshot, 46-23, before coach Emanuel Viveiros pulled goalie Bernhard Starkbaum after he allowed six goals on 31 shots in two periods.
Drew Doughty and Shea Weber gave Canada a 2-0 lead before Carter turned up the heat in the second, scoring three goals for a five-goal advantage.
Getzlaf scored a gorgeous goal at 16:48 of the second, toe-dragging around Austrian defender Thomas Koch before beating Starkbaum to make it 6-0.
Meanwhile, Lauri Korpikoski scored two goals while Teemu Selanne , Jori Lehtera , Olli Jokinen and Olli Maatta added one score each as Finland cruised to an easy win over Norway and earned a crucial clash with Canada.
Finland will take on Canada for the first time since 2006 when the Finns handed the Canadians a 2-0 loss in group play.
Finland went on to capture the silver medal in Turin by beating the United States and Russia before losing to Sweden in the gold-medal game. Canada finished sixth.
Meanwhile, Daniel Alfredsson scored with 7:21 remaining in the third period Friday to help Sweden defeat Switzerland 1-0 and clinch Group C with a 2-0 record.
Czech Republic got its campaign back on track with a 4-2 victory over Latvians for its first win in the event.