Andrew Mangiapane plays big role in Canada's gold medal win at World Hockey Championship
In Italian, the name Mangiapane means 'eat bread', and you have to wonder how much bread Andrew Mangiapane is going to make down the road after his play at the World Hockey Championship in Riga, Latvia.
The 25-year-old has a year remaining on his contract with the Calgary Flames that pays him $2,425,000 per season. Many believe he will be in for a big pay raise after that.
The Flames forward was a difference maker at the Worlds.
Mangiapane had to miss the first three games of the tournament while he was in quarantine. Without him, Canada struggled to an 0-3 record.
With Mangiapane in the lineup, Canada turned things around. They won six games and their only loss was in a shootout to Finland.
The Canadians would get their revenge against Finland in Sunday's Gold medal game. They would take home the gold with a 3-2 overtime victory.
Mangiapane says the team was motivated because many had written them off.
"We saw maybe a few tweets from some media," he said.
"Everyone was saying we weren't going to win and everything. So I think we wanted to prove people wrong."
In seven games, Mangiapane scored seven goals and added four assists. He was named tournament MVP and head coach Gerard Gallant says he definitely deserved it.
"Well, he was the difference maker, no doubt about that," Gallant said.
"We played a good team game and everybody chipping in and did their jobs but when Mangiapane came over he gave us a different level of confidence. He was outstanding. He's a great kid and he was a spark for us."
You can't help but feel good about Mangiapane's story. The Bolton, Ont. native went undrafted into the Ontario Hockey League, signing as a free agent with the Barrie Colts.
In 2014-15, despite putting up 43 goals and 61 assists for the Colts, he was unranked and undrafted into the NHL.
The following season with the Colts he put up 51 goals and 55 assists and the Flames decided to take a chance on him.
Calgary called Mangiapane's name in the 6th round, 166th overall in the 2015-16 NHL entry draft.
Mangiapane is used to being overlooked. That's why it was so exciting for him to put on the Canadian jersey and represent his country for the very first time.
He says in the end, it everything he could ask for.
"100 percent," he said.
"Even the quarantine at the beginning everything is worth it now. It's crazy how we won and battled back and you know we were the underdog the whole time and it's just so surreal. It's unbelievable."
Mangiapne and the rest of his teammates flew back to their homes on Monday. No doubt still celebrating a truly remarkable turn around and gold medal performance.