Mark Stone scored three goals to lead Canada to an easy 8-1 victory over previously unbeaten Germany this afternoon at Steel Arena. The Canadians held a 49-16 advantage in shots.
The result sees a shift in the Group A standings as Canada is now in second, behind only Finland, and Germany drops to third. The United States is in fourth, and it seems unlikely that any of the lower four teams can get into the quarter-finals now.
Germany is right back at it tomorrow, with another big game against the U.S., while Canada has a day to savour the win before playing Denmark on Monday.
“Nobody likes to lose, and especially because I don’t think we played well at all today,” said forward Markus Eisenschmid. “We wanted to stay away from the box because we knew that, going into the game, Canada had over 60% on the power play, and that hurt us big time, right from the start. It’s disappointing to lose, especially when you play that way.”
Canada dominated the game from start to finish, moving the puck with hard, crisp passes, dominating one-on-one battles, and taking time away from Germany all over the ice.
“We had a good start as a team,” Stone said, “and our team has gotten better every day. I think you’re going to see a lot of our guys start to have some individual success because our team is gelling as a group. This was probably our best 60-minute effort. I thought we were good from start to finish. We want to be playing our best hockey when we hit the medal round.”
Canada got going early thanks to a power-play goal from Thomas Chabot. His blast from the top of the circle was set up nicely by Marchessault.
Stone got his first at 16:43 when a Darnell Nurse point shot bounced in front. Goalie Niklas Treutle couldn’t get to the rebound, but Stone could, and he made no mistake from in close.
Germany had its best control early in the second with some determined forechecking, but Canada weathered the storm and made it 3-0 at 6:02. Again it was Stone, and this time it was a nice back-door pass from Dylan Strome that gave him the scoring chance.
It looked like Germany might get back into the game thanks to a later power-play goal of its own. Anthony Cirelli missed a bouncing puck in the slot, and Yasin Ehliz was right there to snap a high shot over the glove of Murray to make it a 3-1 game.
But if Germany thought it was going to the dressing room with a bit of momentum, it was wrong. Just 44 seconds later Stone completed his hat trick when he lifted a bouncing puck over Treutle’s shoulder, restoring the three-goal cushion and ending Germany’s hopes of a positive ending to the period.
The Canadians kept rolling along in the third, scoring three times on German giveaways. Anthony Mantha scored arguably the nicest goal of the tournament at 3:01. He stole a pass by Benedikt Schopper, and as he went in on goal he shot with his stick between his legs, beating Treutle to the far side.
Less than two minutes later Mantha scored again, this time after a turnover in centre ice. He swept the puck into the empty net after Treutle couldn’t handle a Kyle Turris shot.
And the third came on a turnover behind the Germany goal, Sam Reinhart the beneficiary from in front.
Anthony Cirelli made it eight at 13:10, a short-handed effort after being sprung free on a long pass from Mathieu Joseph.