Sun, May 04, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Heatley stars as Canada triumph

AFP , HALIFAX, CANADA

US player Paul Martin and Latvia’s Aleksandrs Nizivijs, left, and Kaspars Daugavins fight for the puck during the Ice Hockey World Championships preliminary match between the US and Latvia in Halifax, Canada, on Friday.

PHOTO: EPA

Forward Dany Heatley etched his name in the record books by scoring three goals as Canada crushed Slovenia 5-1 in their opening game at the ice hockey World Championships on Friday.

Heatley boosted his goal total in the Worlds to 23, surpassing Marcel Dionne for the all-time Canadian lead.

“I’ve been to a few of these tournaments and played with a lot of good players over the years. It feels good,” Heatley said.

In the other games on Friday, favorites the US, the Czech Republic and Russia all won their opening games.

Heatley scored twice in the second period and once in the third as Canada outshot Slovenia 65-23 at the Halifax Metro Center arena.

Defenseman Dan Hamhuis opened the scoring for Canada just over three minutes into the first period.

Heatley made it 2-0 in the first minute of the second period by converting a nice pass from linemate Rick Nash at the side of the net.

Martin St. Louis scored halfway through the second on a slapshot from just inside the blueline that beat Slovenia goalie Robert Kristan to the glove side, giving Canada a three-goal lead.

Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar finished off a nice three-way passing play with a powerplay goal just two minutes later to get Slovenia on the board.

But that was all the scoring Slovenia could manage.

Heatley scored his third goal with just over 10 minutes left, streaking in on a breakaway then going high on the backhand.

Meanwhile, Patrick O’Sullivan and Zach Parise scored third-period power play goals and Tim Thomas stopped 24 shots as the US blanked Latvia 4-0 in the late game at the Halifax Metro Centre.

Dustin Brown and Patrick Kane also scored on the power play for the US which outshot Latvia 49-24.

In other games, Alexander Semin scored twice and added an assist and Alexander Ovechkin scored once as Russia easily defeated Italy 7-1.

Radim Vrbata scored two goals and added two assists to power the Czech Republic to a 5-2 victory over Denmark at the Colisee arena in Quebec City.

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