The best junior hockey team in Canada met up with the best junior hockey player on the planet.
And if you happen to be an Ontario Hockey League fan of the Soo Greyhounds and an admirer of Erie Otters superstar Connor McDavid, it was a win-win night.
Before close to 5,000 frenzied faithful at the Essar Centre on Thursday, the Greyhounds doubled up Erie 6-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven, Western Conference final.
As the Hounds did not disappoint, neither did McDavid.
The soon-to-be-first-overall-pick at the 2015 National Hockey League draft scored all three Erie goals — each one on the power play — albeit in a losing effort.
And while McDavid potted the power-play hat trick, he was also on the ice for three Greyhound goals — and had a -3 plus-minus rating on the night.
As good as McDavid and Erie were in going 3-6 with the extra man, the Greyhounds had two clear-cut breakaways on the penalty kill but could not beat Otters goalie Devin Williams.
Though the Hounds were undisciplined in taking six penalties, the Otters got away with several infractions, much to the chagrin of the hometown fans who finally resorted to the “we want a ref” chant in the third period.
Gabe Guertler paced the Soo scoring attack with a pair of goals and Bryan Moore, Nick Ritchie, Justin Bailey and Jean Dupuy tallied once apiece in support of goalie Brandon Halverson, who made 39 saves.
Dupuy’s goal was the prettiest of the night, a dipsy-doodle-deke effort that left Williams wobbling in his crease.
Game 2 of the series goes tonight at 7:00 at the Essar.
PHOTO: Soo Greyhounds forward Jean Dupuy scored a highlight-reel goal in Game 1 of the OHL’s Western Conference finals.