It was a GTHL connection when Toronto Marlboros graduate, Connor Brown, fed Mississauga Reps alumnus Nick Paul for the game winner 6:26 into overtime, capturing gold for Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Hockey Championship on Sunday in Riga, Latvia. The goal made Team Canada the first team to win gold at the tournament after starting out with an 0-3 record.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) June 6, 2021
Paul’s game winner gave Canada its 27th World Championship gold medal and first since 2016 while defeating Finland, the defending champions.
“We started off 0-3, not the start we wanted, but we came together as a group,” said Paul. “People counted us out, [but] we knew we were going to come together, work hard and take it in the end and we did. We made it closer than we wanted, but it was an unbelievable, hard-fought game and I’m super proud right now.”
Going beyond overtime heroics, Brown set up all three goals in the 3-2 victory, while finishing the tournament with the scoring lead at 16 points. The Etobicoke native’s 14 assists are the most by a Canadian at a single world championship, and tied for the second-most ever.
Along with Brown and Paul, seven other GTHL alumni donned the gold-medal winning Maple Leaf: Michael Bunting, Mario Ferraro, Liam Foudy, Andrew Mangiapane, Cole Perfetti, Brandon Pirri, and Owen Power.
Mangiapane, who spent time with the Toronto Titans, Mississauga Senators, and Toronto Jr. Canadiens during his minor hockey career, was named the tournament’s MVP. The current Calgary Flames forward potted seven goals in seven games played – four of which were game-winners, including two in the quarterfinal and semifinal victories. The Bolton native was also named to the media all-star team.
𝓜𝓸𝓼𝓽 𝓥𝓪𝓵𝓾𝓪𝓫𝓵𝓮 𝓟𝓵𝓪𝔂𝓮𝓻
What a tournament for Andrew Mangiapane!
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) June 6, 2021
Following losses to Latvia, the United States, and Germany, Canada grabbed wins over Italy, Kazakhstan and Norway before losing in a shootout to Finland to close out the preliminary round. With a little luck, Canada earned a spot in the gold medal game after defeating Russia in overtime in the quarterfinals and taking a 4-2 semifinal win against the United States.
- Connor Brown (Toronto Marlboros)
- Michael Bunting (Don Mills Flyers)
- Mario Ferraro (Toronto Marlboros, Don Mills Flyers)
- Liam Foudy (Markham Majors)
- Andrew Mangiapane (Toronto Titans, Mississauga Senators, Toronto Jr. Canadiens)
- Nick Paul (Mississauga Senators, Mississauga Reps)
- Cole Perfetti (Vaughan Kings)
- Brandon Pirri (Toronto Nationals)
- Owen Power (Mississauga Reps)
Visit HockeyCanada.ca for more information on Canada’s National Men’s Team.