Canada ditches Brodeur after setback

By Larry Fine

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Roberto Luongo will replace Martin Brodeur in goal for the Canadian men's ice hockey team after the game's most successful goalie struggled in a shocking 5-3 loss to the United States.

Brodeur, who led Canada to gold in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and has the most wins and shutouts ever in the National Hockey League, allowed some loose goals and was outplayed in Sunday's stunning defeat by American netminder Ryan Miller.

"We're in the winning business," Canada coach Mike Babcock told reporters after practice for Tuesday's game against Germany that puts the winner into the quarter-finals.

"And to win at any level you need big saves, you need momentum-changing saves. I think (Luongo) gives us a real good opportunity to win."

The 30-year-old Luongo, a three-time NHL All-Star who has played the last four seasons in Vancouver for the Canucks, was between the pipes for Canada's opening 8-0 win over Norway.

"Mike called me last night after the game," Luongo said about the goalie change. "I've played in world championships, in the world juniors and the (NHL) playoffs, but this one I'm really excited about.

"Maybe there's a comfort level playing in this rink a lot in front of these fans. I know what type of atmosphere it's going to be like. I'm really pumped up and ready to go for tomorrow."

Babcock indicated that he would sink or swim with Luongo.

"One thing about this tournament now, if you're changing goalies, you're probably out of the tournament," the coach said about the knockout phase of the competition.

The coach did not think four-time Olympian Brodeur was surprised by the move.

"I talked with Marty today and told him where we were going," Babcock said. "He's a pro, he's won a lot of championships and understands it's about the team and not the individual."

(Editing by Frank Pingue)