Mo’ Mantha Leads Canada Past Brits

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Anthony Mantha powered the offence with two goals and three assists, Kyle Turris scored twice and Carter Hart made 12 saves as Canada downed Great Britain 8-0 on Sunday. © Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images

 Fourteen different players recorded at least one point as Canada’s National Men’s Team picked up its first win at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, defeating Great Britain 8-0 at the Steel Arena.

Anthony Mantha had two goals and three assists to lead Canada to a one-sided 8-0 win over Great Britain in the first meeting between these teams since 1994. Teammate Kyle Turris had two goals and an assist.

Ben Bowns faced 51 shots in goal for Britain and surrendered all eight goals in a valiant effort. He gave way to Jackson Whistle, who stopped five mostly harmless shots in the final 9:19 of play.

Carter Hart made 12 routine stops in Canada’s net to record the shutout.

Quote of the tournament surely goes to British forward Robert Dowd who noted that, “It’s very cool playing against some of the guys I had on my fantasy team this year.”

“Before the game we talked about making sure our work ethic was good, making sure our execution was good,” explained coach Alain Vigneault. “We didn’t give them much as far as chances, but you have to work hard, and that’s what we did.”

Despite the blowout, this game was a dream come true for Bowns. “That’s a team of 20-plus NHLers there and they’re in the NHL for a reason,” he started. “It shows on the ice just how high calibre they are. It’s disappointing to concede that many, but I still enjoyed it. I’ve waited my whole life to play these types of games, so if they’d sat me out, I don’t think I’d have been too happy.”

Both teams have huge games coming up. Canada plays hosts Slovakia tomorrow in what will be an electric atmosphere, while the Brits get a day to lick their wounds and prepare for a massive game against the Danes on Tuesday, a game that might well have relegation implications.

“We’ve been a little bit sloppy in the first two games we’ve played [including a pre-tournament game against Austria], and most of our team hadn’t played a hockey game in over a month leading into this, so for us, it’s about getting our reps and getting comfortable playing,” added Mark Stone. “There’s so much talent on this team that maybe we’re too worried about keeping everybody else happy when sometimes it’s better just to be selfish.”

Canada was bigger, faster, and stronger, more skilled and the overwhelming favourite. And that’s how the game played out. Their first game since 1994, Britain simply couldn’t match Canada’s skill set, and the Canadians dominated puck possession, shots, and every other aspect of play.

In the end, the win moved Canada to 1-1 in the standings and dropped the Brits to 0-2.

Quotes:

 

“I like what we did. For us, it was about working hard. We did a lot of great things with the puck. We talked prior to the game about getting some net presence and jamming at the puck, and that’s what our group did. We worked hard, so we’ll take the win and get ready for tomorrow night.

 

“Every intermission we talked about going out and winning that period, and that’s exactly what we did. We didn’t give up a lot in terms of giving them any opportunities and we generated quite a bit today. We had to work hard, which we did, and now we’re moving on to the next game.”

– Head coach Alain Vigneault (Quebec City, Que./Philadelphia, NHL) on his team’s first win at the 2019 IIHF World Championship

 

“I think the bounces were great for us tonight. Obviously it helps the game when the bounces are good. As a team we played a great game, we didn’t really give [Great Britain] anything and in the offensive zone we were spreading them out and using the open ice to capitalize.

 

“I don’t know many shots he faced, but he made every single save and that’s what counts. At the end of the day, it’s the win that matters.”

– Mantha shares his thoughts on the team’s performance and Carter Hart’s shutout.