DOAN LIFTS CANADA TO VICTORY OVER ITALY
By: Chad Lynch
After barely having enough time to get adjusted to the time difference, let alone the fact that he was making his Olympic debut, Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan helped propel Team Canada past Team Italy in the first game of the tournament for both teams.
With Canada leading 1-0 after the opening period of play, the Italians evened the score early in the second period before the Canadians opened the floodgates. Having re-captured the lead on a goal by Ottawa Senators' Dany Heatley, Team Canada then scored what would turn out to be the game-winning goal when a shot from the blue line by Chris Pronger, was stopped by Italy's Jason Muzzatti, sending the rebound onto the stick of Doan. From the right side of the slot, Doan spun around and sent a backhand shot at the net that beat Muzzatti on the glove side for a 3-1 Canada lead.
"It was 2-1 at the time and the rebound just came right out to me," said Doan. "Once I realized that I had the puck, I just spun around and was able to put it in the net."
Later in the second period, Doan would capture his second point of the game when he assisted on Canada's fifth tally of the period, scored by Tampa Bay's Brad Richards.
Despite the 7-2 final score, Team Canada did encounter a much tougher opponent in the host Italian than had been expected.
"The Italian team played really well today," said Doan. "It was a big win for us in the fact that we had to find a way to ourselves going against a good team."
Team Canada will now turn their attention to Thursday's match-up with Team Germany. The game is scheduled to begin at noon on Thursday and can be seen live on MSNBC.
Team Germany suffered a 4-1 loss to the Czech Republic in their opening game of the tournament on Wednesday morning.
The Czech Republic received a scare in the first period when Ottawa Senators' Dominik Hasek left the game with a hamstring injury. However, the Czech's rattled off four unanswered goals to capture the come from behind win.
In the loss, Coyotes defenseman Dennis Seidenberg registered three shots on goal and was assessed a minor penalty for holding-the-stick at 19:51 of the first period. The penalty would lead to the Czech Republic's first power play goal of the game at 1:20 of the second period by Toronto Maple Leaf's Tomas Kaberle.
Seidenberg will look to lead an underdog Team Germany into Thursday's contest against Doan and Team Canada.
- Dominik Hasek is scheduled to undergo an MRI later on Wednesday to determine if his hamstring is torn or just sprained.
- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki was the only goaltender to register a shutout in the opening day of competition as Team Finland blanked Team Switzerland 5-0
- Finnish forwards Olli Jokinen and Teemu Selanne lead the tournament with three points apieace. Coyotes captain Shane Doan is tied for third place it two points (1 goal, 1 assist).