Eberle emerges as top forward at world juniors

Jordan Eberle and Alex Pietrangelo of Team Canada were selected the top forward and defenceman, respectively, at the world junior men's hockey championship in Saskatchewan.

Edmonton Oilers fanatics haven't had much to cheer about this season. But along came Regina Pats star Jordan Eberle.

The 2008 first-round selection (22nd overall) became the all-time Canadian goal-scoring leader at the world junior tournament when he scored twice to lead his team's comeback that fell short in the devastating 6-5 overtime loss to the United States in front of a disappointed capacity crowd of 15,171 at the Credit Union Centre.

The 5-foot-10, 187-pound Eberle checked in with 14 goals in 12 games to pass John Tavares as Canada's all-time leader.

"He has been unbelievable," remarked Canadian defenceman Ryan Ellis, who also played with Eberle in last year’s gold-medal effort.

"He's such a clutch player."

Eberle was named the tournament's top forward and his teammate Alex Pietrangelo was voted the best defenceman.

The goaltender of the tournament was Switzerland's Benjamin Conz, who was bombed by Sweden in the bronze-medal game 11-4.

Eberle, also a native of Regina, has a knack of clutch goals.

He scored twice and in the shootout of Canada's 5-4 come-from-behind win against the U.S. on New Year's Eve.

He also salvaged Canada's gold-medal hopes in Ottawa last year, when he scored with five seconds remaining in the semifinal against Russia to send it to overtime.

Eberle and Tavares scored in the shootout to keep the drive for five alive.

"It's disappointing we lost," Eberle said. "But the other awards are nice because your teammates help you win those awards."