Team Canada opens the Olympics with 3-1 win over Norway - Dallas News |

Team Canada opens the Olympics with 3-1 win over Norway

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Team Canada began their quest for a Gold Medal with a 3-1 victory over Team Norway. Canada controlled the majority of the action and Norway's netminder Lars Haugen had a strong game otherwise the score would have been more lopsided.

Canada could have played better and they may have been caught playing down to their competition. There isn't any expectation that Team Norway can medal, but they showed a great deal of determination.

In some ways Norway was probably happy to lose the game by only two goals. Maybe they felt they would be best served by trying to keep the game close, as goal differential is a tie breaker for seeding in the next round. It appeared that way as late in the third period Norway didn't pull their goaltender while they were on a power play.

To start the game it would probably not be completely accurate to say Team Canada looked tentative, but they weren't hitting their best stride. There are great expectations for the Canadians and certainly some nerves were expected. Their passing wasn't great to start, but improved as the game went on.

An example of being a bit off would be when John Tavares skated ahead of a teammate and was called offside on a power play. Norway deserves credit as they appear to be a well-coached group. They play solid defense and don't have the benefit of a roster full of NHL players. Actually the only NHL player on Team Norway is New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello.

After a scoreless opening period Canada took the lead at the 6:20 mark of period two on Shea Weber blast from near the blueline. The shot came as an extra attacker was on, and the assists went to Duncan Keith and Patrice Bergeron.

The Canadians played more confidently as the period went on. Jamie Benn was working hard the entire match and was rewarded with a goal after a nice feed from his linemate Bergeron. Doughty was involved and had a good game as he picked up the other assist.

Team Canada wasn't lighting up the scoreboard but they were in control. Norway did not record their first shot of the period until inside of the final two minutes of play. For the frame, Norway had only two shots and was outshot through 40 minutes 23-10.

To open the third period Carey Price mishandled a puck behind his net, while Keith was serving a holding penalty. The turnover led to a shot from inside the right faceoff circle, and a tip in by Patrick Thoresen put Norway on the board with a power play goal.

Unfortunately for Norway, Canada came back 1:25 later with a goal to reclaim a two goal advantage. Doughty had a very nice individual effort to skate in and lift the puck past Haugen. The assists went to Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Marleau.

Good news for Canada is they are in an easy bracket and this wasn't their best effort. Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews were held without a shot. Keith had a good performance but can play better as was the case for many on Team Canada.

Besides Norway, Team Canada is in a bracket with their next opponent Austria and Finland. Austria is probably the weakest of the bunch and Finland doesn't figure to medal.

Head Coach Mike Babcock could stick with Carey Price in net, but may look to get Roberto Luongo involved sooner than later. Babcock will want a more dominant effort versus Austria on Friday.

I will be back following Team Canada's game Friday and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia.

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