By Frank Pingue
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Defending gold medalists Canada shut out Austria 6-0 on Friday to easily win their second game in the men's ice hockey tournament at the Sochi Olympics.
A night after looking slightly out of sorts in a 3-1 win over Norway, the Canadians played with far more fury and purpose, with Jeff Carter helping himself to a hat-trick.
"Our game came together," said Canada forward Rick Nash. "Our first period against Norway wasn't our best but we stuck with it and had two good periods after that and then tonight came out strong and stuck with the system."
Canada raced out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by defensemen Drew Doughty and Shea Weber, the latter with a rocket that zipped into the top right corner of the Austria net.
But Carter blew the game open in the second period when he buried the puck three times to put the game out of reach for an Austrian team making their first appearance at the Olympics since 2002.
Two of Carter's goals came off turnovers, the first while he was coming out of the penalty box and the second after a strong effort behind the net from linemate Patrick Marleau.
"It's a good sign, obviously. When you are creating turnovers you are skating, you are on the puck and you are forechecking, backchecking, whatever it is," said Marleau.
"And when everybody is doing that it's a good sign because you are going to create off of it and it showed on those two goals."
Ryan Getzlaf capped the scoring with a short-handed tally late in the second period while Roberto Luongo, who got the start in place of Game One starter Carey Price, made 23 saves for the shutout.
Canada play their final preliminary round game on Sunday against Finland with top spot in Group B on the line.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Julian Linden)