RIGA, Latvia – A new-look top line of Adam Henrique (Burford, Ont./Anaheim, NHL), Connor Brown (Toronto, Ont./Ottawa, NHL) and Andrew Mangiapane (Bolton, Ont./Calgary, NHL) provided all the offence, combining for seven points to send Canada’s National Men’s Team into the win column for the first time at the 2021 IIHF World Championship with a 4-2 victory over Norway on Wednesday.
Henrique scored twice and added an assist, Brown had a goal and two helpers and Mangiapane netted the game-winner in his tournament debut, keeping Canada’s quarterfinal hopes alive.
“They are both great and [Mangiapane] did a great job coming in and creating right away,” Henrique said. “He plays with some speed. Both guys are creative offensively, so I just tried to get in grind a bit and create things around the net. I thought we had a great game tonight and we’re just going to need more of it.”
Owen Power (Mississauga, Ont./University of Michigan, Big Ten) continued his breakout performance with two assists.
After scoring just twice in its first three games, the Canadians needed just 22 seconds to get the offensive festivities started against the Norwegians; Brown drove to the net and had a centring pass from Henrique deflect off his skate and past goaltender Henrik Haukeland for an early advantage.
Henrique made it 2-0 on the power play midway through the opening frame, gathering in his own rebound in close and tucking a backhand around Haukeland to send Canada to the intermission up by a pair.
It was the first man-advantage goal of the tournament for Canada, which came into the game 0 for 11.
Despite allowing just six shots on goal as the game neared its midway mark, the Canadians quickly found themselves in a tie game thanks to a pair of Norway goals just 80 seconds apart.
Thomas Valkae Olsen was first at 9:08, taking advantage of a turnover at the Canadian blueline and going five-hole on Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, Sask./Arizona, NHL), and Mats Rosseli Olsen tied it at 10:28 when a Max Krogdahl shot ricocheted off his skate and eluded the Canadian netminder.
Mangiapane, who missed the first three games while completing his pre-tournament quarantine, gave Canada the lead back for good just over four minutes later, roofing a slick saucer feed from Brown.
“We’re a good team,” Mangiapane said of his first on-ice impressions. “There were times in the game where we dominated. I think we have to clean up a bit, play a full 60 minutes as we got away from it in the second and they capitalized on some chances. We have to limit the turnovers and keep winning.”
Canada got into a little bit of penalty trouble in the third period as it protected the one-goal lead, but Henrique muscled his way to the net and slipped a shorthanded goal five-hole on Haukeland halfway through the final stanza to give the Canadians a little bit of breathing room.
Kuemper finished with 13 saves – and picked up an assist – as Canada outshot Norway 42-15.
“Darcy is an experienced goaltender; he’s played really well, he’s a solid guy. He’s had a great year in Arizona the last couple of years so definitely experienced and he’s one of our leaders on our hockey club. The players feel good with him and he’s been solid for us.”
- Head coach Gerard Gallant (Summerside, P.E.I.) on the play of Kuemper
“Coming out and getting that first goal and playing with the lead helped. Again, we sat back a bit, made a few mistakes in our own zone, got away from our game and they tied it up. I thought we did a good job responding after that. Our penalty kill was good and we got going on the power play, so things are turning in the right direction. We just have to keep it going the rest of the tournament.”
“They are both great and [Mangiapane] did a great job coming in and creating right away. He plays with some speed. Both guys are creative offensively, so I just tried to get in grind a bit and create things around the net. I thought we had a great game tonight and we’re just going to need more of it.”
- Henrique on earning a crucial win, and chemistry with Brown and Mangiapane
“We’re a good team; there were times in the game where we dominated. I think we have to clean up a bit, play a full 60 minutes as we got away from it in the second and they capitalized on some chances. We have to limit the turnovers and keep winning. Looking ahead, we just have to play quick and fast, get pucks on net, the simple things, get to the dirty areas and score goals.”
- Mangiapane on his first impressions after making his debut
The push for the playoffs continues Friday when Canada takes on Kazakhstan (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT).