Canucks pick Bo Horvat scored his first as an international and Anthony Mantha paced with three goals as Team Canada routed Germany 7-2 on Boxing Day, the first day of competition at the 2014 World Juniors in Malmo, Sweden.
“The fans were unbelievable tonight,” Horvat said after the win (WorldJunior2014.com). “I can’t believe the amount of Canadian fans that are here. It was pretty cool and we’re glad we got the win for them.”
Jonathan Drouin assisted on all three of Mantha’s goal and 16-year-old phenom Connor McDavid had two assists of his own. Portland Winterhawks defenceman Derrick Pouliot also had two assists for Canada.
Vernon native Curtis Lazar – who plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL – had an assist while playing on Canada’s top line, alongside Drouin and Mantha.
North Vancouver kid Sam Reinhart also scored and had an assist.
“You can always improve on your game,” said Sam, to the IIHF’s Lucas Aykroyd. “It’s a process. It’s not just going to happen right off the start of the tournament.”
Reinhart is expected to go first overall in next year’s NHL Entry Draft, favoured for the top pick along with Canadian teammate Aaron Ekblad. Reinhart’s brother Griffin was sitting out Thursday’s game, serving a three-game suspension for a hit that occurred at last year’s tournament.
Josh Anderson and Nic Petan also scored for Canada. Petan, a draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets, is from North Delta, B.C. and also plays for the Portland Winterhawks. He led the WHL in scoring in 2012/13. (SurreyLeader.com)
Germany actually opened the scoring and the game was 2-2 in the first, until Mantha and the Canucks blew it wide open, scoring five unanswered to skyrocket through 60 minutes.
Dorian Saeftel and Janik Moser scored for the Germans.
Elsewhere in Malmo, the Russians thumped Norway 11-0 and Team USA was taking on the Czech Republic, leading 4-0 in the second period as of 10:00 a.m. PST.