CANADA DOWNS FRANCE FOR THIRD-STRAIGHT WORLDS WIN
KOŠICE, Slovakia – Anthony Mantha (Longueuil, Que./Detroit, NHL) scored the opening goal and the insurance marker in a 5-2 win for Canada’s National Men’s Team over France at the 2019 IIHF World Championship on Thursday.
Darnell Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./Edmonton, NHL), Anthony Cirelli (Woodbridge, Ont./Tampa Bay, NHL) and Mark Stone (Winnipeg, Man./Vegas, NHL) added tallies and Jonathan Marchessault (Cap-Rouge, Que./Vegas, NHL) chipped in two assists for a Canadian team that captured its third-straight win of the tournament.
Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Philadelphia, NHL) earned his second victory by making 21 saves.
Canada was dominant in all three zones in the first period, outshooting the French 16-2 and taking a 3-0 lead.
Mantha maintained his scorching production by opening the scoring at 8:19 with a one-timer from the right circle on a two-man advantage.
Nurse doubled the lead just over two minutes later, tapping in a perfect backdoor pass from Marchessault, and Cirelli’s short-side shot from the slot late in the opening frame stood up as the eventual game-winner.
France netminder Henri Corentin Buysse elevated his play in the second period by turning aside all 16 shots he faced – many of which were high-grade opportunities from point-blank range. His teammates fed off his heroics to generate 12 shots of their own, and the work paid Damien Fleury beat Hart with a scorching slap shot from the half-wall for a power-play tally at 16:13.
The French momentum carried over into the final period as Anthony Rech beat Hart with a spinning wrist shot to cut Canada’s lead to 3-2 three minutes into the third.
Canada dug in and responded with two tallies in two minutes to restore its lead to three. Mantha cashed in a loose puck after a Kyle Turris (New Westminster, B.C./Nashville, NHL) shot just fell shy of the goal-line, and Stone beat Corentin Buysse with a drive from the high slot off a set-up from Marchessault.
The Canadians outshot France 46-23.
Canada will try and extend its winning streak to four against Germany on Saturday (10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT).