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Olympic Ice Hockey

Canada beats Norway 3-1 in its men's hockey opener

Photo: Julio Cortez/AP

Canada's Shea Weber, center, celebrates with Sidney Crosby, left, and Patrice Bergeron after scoring a goal against Norway.

SOCHI, Russia (AP) Shea Weber and Jamie Benn scored in the second period to help Canada shake off a sluggish start Thursday, leading the defending Olympic champions past Norway 3-1.

Patrick Thoresen redirected a shot in front of the net to pull the Norwegians within a score on a power play 22 seconds into the third. Drew Doughty restored the two-goal lead 1:25 later in the period.

Canada's Carey Price made 19 saves in his Olympic debut. The star-filled team likely will not be tested until facing Finland on Sunday in the third game of the round-robin preliminary round.

Lars Haugen made 35 saves for the Norwegians.

For the second straight Olympics, the Canadians opened against Norway and entered the second period in a scoreless tie.

Canada didn't go on to rout the overmatched team as it did last time with an 8-0 victory. It was in control for most of the game, however.

Weber's slap shot - perhaps the hardest in the world - broke the scoreless tie at 6:20 of the second period. Benn scored from the left circle off a slick, cross-ice pass from Patrice Bergeron, who also had an assist on the first goal.

Early on, Canada looked as if its talented players - all of them in the NHL - were slowed by jet lag. It had only one more shot than Norway in the scoreless first period.

In the second, the Canadians stepped up the pressure when they had the puck and didn't give up a shot for about 18 minutes in the period.

Canada was so dominant midway through the game that it appeared to be on a power play during even-strength situations. The Norwegians, though, didn't trail by more than a goal until Benn scored.

Norway, meanwhile, has only one player from the world's top hockey league: New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello.

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