Hockey

Greg Hughes - Thursday Feb. 13, 2014 12:46 ET

Canada beats Norway 3-1 in men's hockey opener

Doughty, Benn and Weber score for Canada

Shea Weber
Shea Weber and Sidney Crosby celebrate after Weber's goal in the 2nd period. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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It was a slow start, but Canada's men's hockey team surged to a win over Norway on Thursday. 

Drew Doughty, Jamie Benn and Shea Weber all netted goals for Canada in their first game of the Sochi Olympics. 

Doughty, who scored at 1:47 of the 3rd period, moved up from his defence spot to finish off a play created by Patrick Marleau and Ryan Getzlaf. 

Benn scored on a shot from the slot with assists from Patrice Bergeron and Doughty at 15:19 of the 2nd period, while Weber scored on a slap shot early in the 2nd period near Norway's blue line, beating goalie Lars Haugen.

Benn told the CBC's Elliotte Friedman after the game that scoring a goal in his first Olympic Games was a "pretty cool" experience. 

"We want to go as a team throughout this tournament," Benn added. "I’m taking this tournament all in as a first-time Olympian.” 

Canada's Patrice Bergeron called the game a "good effort" but that Canada needs to improve.

"Our first period wasn't sharp, but our second was much better," Bergeron said. "I thought we kept improving throughout the game, the second and third were a lot better, and we've got to get an even better start tomorrow." 

A small surprise was Norway scoring on a redirect goal by former NHLer Patrick Thoresen on a shot that came about after Canada goalie Carey Price misplayed a shoot-in just 22 seconds into the 3rd period, breaking Canada's shutout. 

Thoresen said that Norway should thank their goalie Haugen for keeping the score with Canada close.

"We played the probably best team in the world and we got tired, 3-1 is a good result. You are never happy when you lose, but we played a good team and we can thank our goalie for the result today," Thoresen said.

"It is obviously fun to play against the best players in the world, but it's not so fun to chase the puck for most of the game."

Canada, Norway struggle early on

Canada's head coach Mike Babcock was satisfied with the win, but he wasn't entirely thrilled with his team's performance.  

"In the first period we didn't execute as good as we'd like to. We tried hard. Whether it was nerves, or just that Norway played so hard... if you look at the whole game, they competed like crazy, they made it hard on us," Babcock said. 

"We had chances enough for the score to be different. So what? We didn't score. Our power play wasn't dangerous and we gave up a penalty kill goal. So we've got lots to work on."

The first period did start out less-than-convincing for the Canadians. An aggressive back-and-forth game at the start, both Canada and Norway battled for puck possession early on. 

Yet by the 2nd period, Canada became dominant, pelting the Norwegians with shots while Norway struggled to fend off the Canadians. 

Things started getting rougher between the two teams near the end of the 3rd period, with penalties — including a rare roughing penalty in Olympic-level hockey — being issued.

Canada's next game is Friday at 12 p.m. EST against Austria at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.

 

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