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Mantha hat trick gives Canada win in WJC opener

by Adam Kimelman

Anthony Mantha had a hat trick as Canada opened play at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 7-2 defeat of Germany at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist and Jonathan Drouin had three assists. Bo Horvat, Josh Anderson and Nicolas Petan also had goals and Jake Paterson stopped 22 shots.

"You always want to win the first game of the tournament," Anderson said on TSN. "Now we're just looking forward to the next game."

Dorian Saeftel and Janik Moser scored for Germany. Goalie Marvin Cupper, who plays for the Shawinigan Cataractes in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, made 23 saves.

Germany scored the game's first goal 95 seconds into the game and tied the game 2-2 with 4:01 left in the first period, but Canada scored twice in a 53-second span to take a lead it would not relinquish.

"The first seven or eight minutes were [slow]," Canada coach Brent Sutter said on TSN. "Then we started playing the game, doing things the way we talked about the way we wanted to do it. We started making plays, making passes stick to stick, having speed through the neutral zone, being a better puck-possession team, creating opportunities offensively."

Mantha scored his second of the game at 17:36 when he controlled the puck behind the Germany net, bulled his way in front and scored from in close.

Moments later Horvat made it 4-2. Cupper stopped Horvat's shot from the slot and made another save on Reinhart. Reinhart, a contender to be the first pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, got his own rebound and threw it across to Horvat for a goal at 18:29.

Canada continued to build its lead in the second. Joshua Morrissey took advantage of a bad line change by Germany to spring Reinhart for a breakaway. Cupper stopped Reinhart with his skate on the right post, but on his third whack on the loose puck he shoved it under the German goalie at 6:45.

Mantha capped his hat trick at 11:36 with a power-play goal that made it 6-2. Drouin, playing the point on the Canadian power play, skated into the left circle and zipped a diagonal pass through the slot to Mantha alone on the back door.

"It's a great feeling," Mantha said on TSN. "We wanted to win. I think we worked hard enough to get it. On my side, three goals, I couldn't ask for a better day."

A 2013 first-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings, Mantha became the first Canada player in two years with a hat trick since Mark Stone against Finland on Dec. 26, 2011.

Mantha, who plays for the Val-d'Or Foreurs in the QMJHL, leads that league with 35 goals and 73 points in 32 games after scoring a league-high 50 goals in 2012-13.

Petan made it 7-2 in the third off a sensational play by 16-year-old Connor McDavid. McDavid, the early favorite to be the first pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, stole the puck from Germany captain Leon Draisaitl behind the German net and tried for a wraparound that Cupper stopped, but Petan banged in the rebound at 10:13.

McDavid is the first 16-year-old to play for Canada at the World Juniors since Sidney Crosby in 2004. He finished with two assists, a team-best plus-3 rating and tied for the team high with four shots on goal, but believes he could have played better.

"I missed a whole bunch of chances that I'm pretty embarrassed about," McDavid said on TSN. "I thought I played an all right game."

Germany took the lead 1:35 into the game when Saefetel was credited with a goal. Lennart Palausch beat Petan on a faceoff on the right side of the Canada zone and Patrick Klopper pushed it back to Saeftel at the point. His shot through traffic in front deflected between Paterson's pads to make it 1-0.

Canada tied the game at 6:21 on a play that started with a sensational end-to-end rush by defenseman Matt Dumba. He skated the puck deep into the German end and backhanded a sharp-angle shot on net that Cupper stopped but Anderson, a Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick, crashed the net to knock in the rebound.

Mantha made it 2-1 with a power-play goal when he banged in the rebound of a Curtis Lazar shot at 10:41.

Germany tied the game at 15:59 on a power-play goal by Moser. Adam Pelech flubbed a clearing attempt deep in the Canada end. Dominik Kahun jumped on the loose puck and sent a pass across to Moser, who beat Paterson from the slot.

Canada next plays Saturday against the Czech Republic, while Germany plays Friday against Slovakia.

"It's one game," Sutter said. "It's a good start, we deserved to win the game. But it's one game. We're in a day-to-day thing here and [Friday] becomes the biggest day. We have to have a good practice and get ready for the next game."

Russia 11, Norway 0

A pair of Buffalo Sabres prospects played big roles in Russia’s tournament-opening rout in a Group B game at Malmo Arena.

Center Mikhail Grigorenko had a goal and two assists, and defenseamn Nikita Zadorov had two goals.

Anton Slepyshev, a 2013 Edmonton Oilers draft pick, also had two goals. Nikita Tryamkin, Vyacheslav Osnovin and Alexander Barabanov each had a goal and an assist.

Russia scored 10 goals on 27 shots in the first two periods, and added one goal on eight shots in the third. Russia outshot Norway for the game 35-14.

"We just tried to play the game as if the score was close the whole time or as if we were playing Canada or Sweden," Grigorenko told the IIHF website. 

Grigorenko, the 12th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, has two goals and an assist in 18 games with the Sabres this season. Zadorov, the 16th pick of the 2013 draft, had one goal in seven games before being return to his junior team, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. 

Andrey Vasilevskiy, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2012 first-round pick (No. 19) stopped all seven shots he faced while playing the first half of the game. His backup, Ivan Nalimov, finished the game by stopping all eight Norway shots against him.

Henrik Haukeland started in goal for Norway and allowed 10 goals on 27 shots in two periods. Joachim Svendsen, who was the backup for Norway when they won the 2013 Division I tournament to earn a spot in the top level, stopped seven of eight shots in the third period.

Norway next plays Friday against Finland, while Russia returns Saturday against Switzerland.


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