Doan delivers 3 goals in Team Canada win
Shane Doan kept his focus on the ice Friday, notching a hat trick to lead Canada to its fourth straight win at the 2007 men's world hockey championship.
The Phoenix Coyotes power forward scored twice early in the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit and help his team to a berth in the quarter-finalswith the6-3 qualifying-round victory over Belarus in Russia.
Doan has been a hot topic in Canada this week amid allegations he made an anti-French remark to a francophone linesman during an NHL game in Montreal two years ago.
Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe believes Doan should not be Canada's captain at the world tournament while there are still two outstanding defamation suits related to the alleged anti-French slur.
"You definitely want to prove that you deserve to be here and that you want to be here and that you're capable of doing a good job," said Doan.
He leads Canada with four goals and has impressed his teammates. He even got a call from Prime Minister Stephen Harper afterward, according to Hockey Canada.
"I think it's unbelievable," forward Jonathan Toews said of Doan's play. "He's just one of those guys that comes through when there's pressure and there's criticism and stuff like that.
"I think today he proved that he's the real leader in our locker room and showed everybody what people on the outside can't really see."
Doan has remained calm while repeatedly answering questions about the infamous remark about French-Canadians, whichhe says he never made. There have been no outward signs of frustration or concern.
"You only have to worry about something if you're guilty," said Canadian coach Andy Murray. "Why should he worry about some politician?"
Mike Cammalleri, Matthew Lombardi and Toews had the other Canadian goals in a penalty-filled contest, while Aleksei Ugarov, Alexander Ryadinsky and Dmitry Meleshko replied for Belarus (1-3).
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward earned his second win of the tourney.
After surrendering the first goal of the game, he watched as Doan struck with Canada short-handed, on the power play and at even strength.
Rick Nash broke out of the Canadian end on a two-on-one and slipped the puck to Doan, who beat Belarus goaltender Stepan Goryachevskikh in the first three minutes of the second period.
Doan made it 2-1 on the power play at 5:15, banging in a rebound after Toews crashed the net.
"It was a game we needed to win," said Doan. "They were feeling pretty good about themselves after the first period and they had a little bit of life."
Cammalleriincreased the margin to 5-1 with a power-play goal before the end of the period.
Midway through the third, Ryadinsky cut into a 5-2 Canada advantage. Referee Peter Jonak reviewed the goal on tape for several minutes before ruling the puck wasn't touched with a high stick.
Lombardi, with his first goal of the tournament, and Meleshko traded late goals.
The Canadians have trailed in each of their four games before digging in and coming up with victories. The Doan saga has also had an impact.
"Any sort of distraction that you face that is contradictory towards your goal of winning the gold medal is adversity," said Cammalleri. "There's different ways to deal with it."
Defenceman Shea Weber will return to Canada's lineup for Sunday's game against the Czech Republic (12:15 p.m. ET).
The Nashville Predator was suspended for three games earlier this week for his check to the head of Germany's Yannic Seidenberg in Canada's tournament-opening 3-2 win on April 28.
Elsewhere Friday, host Russia blanked Italy 3-0 and will next play Switzerland on Sunday.
In the regulation round, Norway prevailed 3-2 over Austria.
With files from the Canadian Press