MOSCOW – Team Canada captain Shane Doan scored three of Canada's five second-period goals in a 6-3 win over Belarus at the World Hockey Championships on Friday.
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Finland 4 - Canada 2
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It was Canada's fourth-straight win and first in the qualifying round in the world tournament. Canada's next game is Sunday against the Czech Republic and the Canadians play the United States on Monday.
Teenager Jonathan Toews, with his first even-strength point of the tournament to go along with his four assists, Mike Cammalleri and Matthew Lombardi also scored for Canada.
The Canadians trailed 1-0 after the first period but the took control in the second and never looked back.
Doan scored short-handed, on the power pay and at even strength to get the natural hat trick. The effort came a day after members of Canada's House of Commons questioned Doan's leadership skills and were told by Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson that Doan embodies everything that is great about Canada's national game.
"I think his actions speak for himself," said Jay McClement. "He is our captain and there is a reason he is our captain. That was a great performance."
Canada now leads its bracket in the 16-team tournament with nine points.
Doan tied the game with a shorthanded goal in the third minute of play when he broke in on a 2-on-1 with Rick Nash, who had the puck on his stick. Nash hesitated long enough for the Belarus defenceman to drop down in the event of a shot and Nash feathered a soft pass to Doan and he swept the puck into the net tie the game at 2:38.
Doan put Canada ahead for the first time at 5:15 while on the power play. He pounced on a rebound and scored into a gaping net for his third goal of the championship tournament.
Toews, who won gold in January as a member of Canada's National Junior Team, netted his first goal at the senior level less than three minutes later. He started the play by making a head-up pass to Jason Chimera and headed to the net and tipped a return pass from Chimera for a 3-1 lead.
Doan completed the hat trick at 9:13 and Cammalleri gave Canada a four-goal cushion at 16:20 of the second.
Lombardi scored at 16:15 of the third when the puck deflected off a shin pad into the Belarus net.
"We had another tough start but we didn't get down. We're getting better and guys are getting used to their roles and their linemates," said McClement. "We're going in the right direction."
Goalie Cam Ward settled down after getting beat for a goal in the first period and he went the distance for the win.
Canada outshot Belarus 40-21.
The Canadians will use Saturday to prepare for the back-to-back games against the Czechs and the Americans.
"It will be a tough test for us," said McClement. "Those games are important for seeding in the quarter-finals. They are two good opponents and we have to be ready."