Nash makes dash for net

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

HALIFAX -- Canada-Norway isn't supposed to be a high wire act in hockey.

But it was here yesterday until Rick Nash took the game in his own hands and made the late-game dash to save the Canadian bacon.

Nash picked up the puck in his own zone, took it down the wing, cut to the net and backhanded it behind the carpenter who plays goal for Norway at 15:02 of the third period to win 2-1.

HIS OWN HANDS

"I didn't decide that," he said of taking the game into his own hands. "I had an extra step on the defenceman and decided to make the cut to the net."

Nash said Canada didn't take Norway for granted, as it may have looked like to some, especially with Norway coming off an emotional win the night before over Germany which left them second in their pool and moved them against Canada in Phase 2 only 18 hours later.

"We didn't expect it to be that close. But they've been playing well. They've had upsets already in the tournament. And I think it's important we have a game like that," he said of the reminder that even a collection of talent like Canada has been brought to the tournament can be defeated by team play.

"Give them credit," said Canadian captain Shane Doan. "We had 52 shots. We weren't scoring. We needed to find a way to score early. We just didn't get it going. They drop back and hope for a mistake from us. And they got one."

Mike Green scored for Canada on a power play midway in the first period but goaltender Pal Grotnes, who is employed as a carpenter, kept a clean sheet until a Duncan Keith turnover resulted in a breakaway for Mads Hansen who executed a perfect cross-crease deke to deposit the puck behind Pascal Leclaire and sent Norway to the dressing room tied 1-1 after two.

It wasn't that Canada didn't have chances, but the big line of Dany Heatley,Nash and Ryan Getzlaf went cold, missing the net or misfiring on their chances. Nash had a breakaway in the second period and had his stick snap in half on the shot. He had another breakaway later in the period and was checked from behind and didn't even manage a broken-stick shot.

The other lines, which haven't really showed any signs of gelling, didn't look any better than they did before the makeover which sent Jason Spezza to the fourth line (2:45 office time in the first period, 3:41 in the second and 0:47 in the third for 6:52 the game last night).

While Canada had a 14-3 and 20-6 edge in shots on goal during the first two periods and 53-16 in the end, this had the definite feel of a rope-a-dope job by Norway, a team which was down 2-0 to Germany the night before and came back to win 3-2.

"We had a lot of chances, but not many second and third chances," said Hitchcock. "Their commitment to team defence was greater than our tenacity trying to score. I think we got frustrated and panicked a bit. We tried to make plays before we had bodies going to the net. There was a lot of double clutching going on. And we had major problems on our power play. Their goaltender was able to see shots."

PENALTY KILLING

The penalty killing worked, however, as Canada took four consecutive penalties in the third period, giving Norway a pair of 5-on-3 chances.

Hansen, who picked the pocket of Keith and scored for Norway, said it was definitely the biggest goal of his career.

"It was really disappointing to not get to overtime. But I guess it was a fair win for Canada."

It was a game to tell their grandchildren about and, who knows, they might get to play it again in the quarter-final here next week.

"I enjoyed it," said Hansen.


Photos