It was the Anthony Mantha show for team Canada on Thursday as the 19-year-old power forward netted a hat trick in a 7-2 win over Germany to open the World Junior Hockey championships in Sweden.
Mantha, a first-round draft pick (No. 20 overall) by the Detroit Red Wings in 2013, has been ripping apart the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season with 32 goals and 38 assists in 35 games for the Val d'Or Foreurs. He continued that goal-scoring touch on Thursday.
Jonathan Drouin, the third overall pick (Tampa Bay) in 2013, assisted on all of Mantha's goals, including a tally in the second period to complete Mantha's hat trick.
But while Mantha and Drouin stood out in the box score with the big performances, the best player on the ice for Canada may have in fact been 16-year-old forward Connor McDavid. The Ontarian was all creating scoring chances all over the ice and on seemingly every shift. The Germans had no match for McDavid's game-breaking speed as he produced a number of quality scoring opportunities that just narrowly missed. It appeared that McDavid finally put one in the net late in the third period on a wraparound attempt, but upon further review it was actually Petan that had the final touch of the puck as it crossed the goal line.
McDavid finished the game with a pair of assists.
Canada is trying to bounce back from a disappointing fourth-place finish at the 2013 tournament and got off to a great start on Thursday.
(Gif via Habs Eyes On The Prize)