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The Malik Report

Red Wings prospect news: Mantha dazzles again at the WJC

Updated at 5:03 PM: As I watch a team wearing an incredibly ugly uniform skate on the ic...Oh wait, I mean the Maple Leafs Alumni take part in their final pre-Alumni Showdown practice, I found good news via the grapevine:

Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha scored a comeback-making 2-3 goal and registered 2 assists in Canada's 5-3 win over the Slovaks at the World Championships in Malmo, Sweden. Mantha now has 8 points (4 goals and 4 assists) over the course of 3 games played for Canada.

And Zach Fucale stopped 16 of 19 shots in Jake Paterson's stead.

Update: Paterson Fucale will go against the Americans, per TSN's Mark Masters:

Update: The IIHF posted a 9:25 highlight clip...

Here's the Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan's recap...

Canada got goals from Nic Petan and Jonathan Drouin in the final six minutes of the third period on Monday, coming from behind to beat Slovakia 5-3 before a thrilled crowd of mostly Canadian supporters at the Malmo Isstadion.

Canada looked to be headed to a second consecutive loss at the 2014 world junior championship, but Drouin scored at 14:02 after getting a pass from Anthony Mantha to tie the game.

Drouin, alone in front, didn’t hesitate, one-timing Mantha’s pass from behind the net behind Slovakia goalie Samuel Baros.

Petan got the winner during a power play at 17:14, waiting out Baros before beating him with a low shot, and then scored into an empty net with 1:20 remaining.

Canada, which fired 49 shots at Baros, is 8-0-1 against Slovakia at the world junior.

If Canada beats the United States on Tuesday in the final game of the preliminary round in regulation, it will win its pool.

Zach Fucale, who made 19 saves in his first start of the tournament, will be in net against the Americans, coach Brent Sutter said.

Curtis Lazar and Mantha also scored for Canada before a crowd of 2,558. Charles Hudon suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury early in the third period, but returned to the bench after missing a few shifts, and Sutter said later the forward was fine.

The Canadian Press noted that Mantha received rave reviews...

And Anthony Mantha, the runaway scoring leader in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, had a goal and three assists to give him nine points in three games.

Not bad for a big winger who was not certain to make the team out of camp three weeks ago.

"I came to camp and I wanted to make my place, and once I did that, I wanted to show I could play great hockey over here and that's what I'm doing now," the Detroit Red Wings prospect said.

"Anthony was huge," added Sutter.

TSN posted a shorter highlight clip, and James Duthie and Bob McKenzie praised Mantha in their post-game commentary...

And Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager named Mantha the second star of the day:

No. 2 star: Anthony Mantha, Team Canada

Mantha (1G-3A, +2) scored or set up each of Canada's four goals against Slovakia goalie Samuel Baros during a riveting 5-3 uphill win in Group A. The Detroit Red Wings first-rounder wired a pass that Ottawa Senators first-rounder Curtis Lazar one-timed for Canada's first goal. Canada fell behind 3-1 in the second, but Mantha got a rebound goal late in the frame to steady his side. In the third, the Quebec League's leading scorer won a puck battle behind the Slovakia cage and passed out to Jonathan Drouin (1G-1A, +2) for the tying goal. Mantha got his fourth point of the day, and team-high ninth of the tourney, on Nic Petan's game-winner.

Mantha spoke to IIHF.com's Andrew Podnieks, too:

Most of the 2,558 fans at the Isstadion wore red and white and cheered for Canada, and the fans got exactly what they wanted – a Canadian win.

"Since the beginning of the tournament they've been supporting us. They're such great fans, and it's great for us," said Mantha, who is now tied for most points in the tournament with nine.

...

Canada waited until under six minutes to go in the third to tie the game. Mantha banged Erik Cernak off the puck behind the goal and got it out front to Drouin, who snapped it instantly behind Baros to make it 3-3.

That set the stage for Petan's game winner. Predajniansky took a high-sticking penalty, and then Mantha went to work, feeding Petan to the side of the net.

"We have an established play down low with 'Pets'," Mantha explained. "He just came out in front and had an open shot and took it. Fortunately it went in. It was great."

"I just tried to be patient," Petan described. "I held onto it and found the open net. The way the goalie was playing it, I felt I could take the shot."

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Comments

Primis's avatar

Seems stupid now that Sutter was considering leaving Mantha off but… that’s Sutter for ya’.

Posted by Primis on 12/30/13 at 03:35 PM ET

torless's avatar

Should be 1 goal and 3 assists today - he assisted on the 4-3 Petan goal as well, which you can see in the replay but is not being shown on the site. The assist on the Drouin goal was something special… funny how the commentator talk is still all about Drouin smile

3 GP 4 Goals 5 Assists

Should see him atop the IIHF U20 leaderboard in the rankings.

Posted by torless on 12/30/13 at 03:41 PM ET

RW19's avatar

He did have 4 points.

Mantha was outstanding. He played very well and had multiple chances. He made deft passed on the goals he assisted on and his own goal would have made Homer proud, batting the puck out of the air, finding it his feet and putting it home. His pass on the GTG was pin point accurate.

Intesesting thing was that he played half the powerplays on the points. I would not say he has a howitzer like Sproul, but his shot is heavy and stays low, causing chaos at the goalie’s feet.

On the negative side ... the Penguins have a heck of an up and coming defenseman in Derek Pouliot. Quite impressive skater and stickhandler.

Posted by RW19 on 12/30/13 at 03:48 PM ET

Avatar

George.
Fucale will start vs Americans, assuming USA and Americans are the same. Paterson will not be starting vs USA.

Posted by teldar on 12/30/13 at 04:33 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Fixed thank you!

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 12/30/13 at 05:01 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.