SOCHI, Russia – Jeff Carter scored a natural hat trick on Friday night in leading Canada to an Olympic hockey victory. He wanted to share the glory with his goalie, who pitched a shutout, handing a game puck to Roberto Luongo.
A goalie who politely declined.
“I tried to give it to him. He didn’t want it,” said Carter, after Canada’s 6-0 rout of Austria in the preliminary round of the Sochi Olympics men’s ice hockey tournament.
“He got the hat trick. I was trying to give it back to him,” said Luongo, who eventually handed the puck back to Carter. “I got plenty of pucks back home. I told him to keep that one.”
Carter, the Los Angeles Kings star forward, barely saw the puck in the first period, playing a team-low 2 minutes and 45 seconds as the extra forward for the Canadians.
In the second period, his line with Patrick Marleau and Jonathan Toews ignited, and Carter ended up scoring Canada’s third, fourth and fifth goals.
“It just kinda happened. I was in the right place at the right time for pretty much all of them,” said Carter. “My linemates did a great job getting in and winning pucks and getting pucks to the net. It wasn’t pretty.”
Coach Mike Babcock praised Carter’s scoring after the game.
“He’s a big man. He can really skate. He’s dangerous when he gets it,” he said. “He’s not going to make a ton of plays. He’s going to shoot the puck in the net.”
Carter did, three times for the hat trick.
Well, a hat trick in name only. Despite a slew of Canadian fans in Bolshoy Ice Dome for the game, not a single chapeau hit the rink.
“I actually didn’t even notice,” said Carter. “But that Olympic gear is pretty expense. I’m sure they didn’t want to lose it.”