Heatley hat-trick sparks Canada to rousing win

Fri May 2, 2008 7:22pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (Reuters) - Dany Heatley scored a hat-trick in Canada's 5-1 win over Slovenia on Friday when the ice hockey world championship made a rousing return to the sport's birthplace and spiritual home.

While Canada has dominated international hockey capturing a record 24 world titles, the lopsided victory was one that hockey mad Canadians had waited 100 years to see.

The game marked the first time the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) flagship event had been staged on Canadian ice.

Canada has traditionally made sluggish starts to the world championship but there were no hiccups on Friday as the hosts made sure the historic game had a happy ending.

Heatley, playing in his fifth tournament, became Canada's all-time leading scorer at world championships. His hat-trick took his total to 23 goals, surpassing Marcel Dionne (21).

"I've been in few tournaments and had a chance to play with a lot of great players over the last few years," Heatley told reporters.

"Any time you play for Canada and you get in this tournament you come here to win," the Ottawa Senators player said.

"It (the record) is a nice thing to have."   Continued...

<p>Canada's Dany Heatley scores on Slovenia goalie Robert Kristan during the third period of play at the 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 2, 2008. REUTERS/Paul Darrow</p>