EDMONTON – Canada’s Connor Bedard became the youngest player to score four goals in a single junior men’s hockey world championship game on Tuesday. The 16-year-old from North Vancouver, British Columbia
EDMONTON – Canada’s Connor Bedard became the youngest player to score four goals in a single junior men’s hockey world championship game on Tuesday.
The 16-year-old from North Vancouver, BC, propelled Canada to an 11-2 victory over Austria with his quadruple.
Mason McTavish scored twice and obtained an assist and Cole Perfetti scored a goal and two assists for the host country (2-0). Kent Johnson, Lukas Cormier, Logan Stankoven and Mavrik Bourque also scored for the Canadiens.
Eliot Desnoyers and Will Cuylle each assisted on three Bédard goals. Brett Brochu stopped 20 of 22 shots for the win in his first start of the tournament.
Lukas Necesany and Mathias Bohm scored for Austria (0-2) while beleaguered starter Leon Sommer made 53 saves in the loss.
Bédard joined Mario Lemieux (1983), Simon Gagné (1999), Brayden Schenn (2010), Taylor Raddysh (2016) and Maxime Comtois (2018) in the Canadian junior men’s record books for the most goals scored in a single game .
Bedard was the seventh 16-year-old named to the National Junior Men’s Team in its 45-year history, joining players like Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby.
However, no other 16-year-old has scored four goals in a game. Gretzky scored a hat trick in 1977 against Czechoslovakia.
“It’s really cool to hear your name and one of, if not the greatest to have ever played,” Bedard said. “It’s a game and I don’t think I’ll get 2,800 points in the NHL. It’s cool to hear my name with hers. That’s good, but we still have a long way to go in this tournament.
Canada is playing its second Pool A game in as many days on Wednesday against Germany and concluding the preliminary round on New Years Eve against the Finns.
That is if the men’s under-20 tournament is not further disrupted by the COVID-19 virus. The Canada-Austria game was the only game played on Tuesday.
Two American players who tested positive caused the United States to lose a Pool B match against Switzerland with the entire team in mandatory quarantine.
The Swiss won a 1-0 victory under the rules of the International Ice Hockey Federation. The IIHF has yet to determine whether the United States can play Wednesday’s Pool B game against Sweden in Red Deer.
The quarter-finals will take place on Sunday, followed by the semi-finals on January 4 and the medal games on January 5 in Edmonton.
“All the work that has been done to get in here and make this tournament a success in these tough conditions, you don’t want to see a team lose a game like the United States (did), so I just hope once. for them and the tournament continues, ”said Canadian head coach Dave Cameron.
“I think our team has been very diligent. We’re in a narrow bubble. You keep your fingers crossed and continue to preach the diligent part of it.”
Alberta’s COVID-19 restrictions limit spectators in Edmonton and Red Deer to 50% of their capacity. Rogers Place fell short of its half-capacity of 9,320 on Tuesday with 3,862 spectators.
The players who came out and in the lineup had Canada’s brewing lines on Tuesday, with Bedard moved to a line with Cuylle and Desnoyers.
Canadian forward Justin Sourdif served a one-game suspension for an illegal check to the head in Sunday’s 6-3 win over Czechia to open the tournament.
Forward Xavier Bourgault also did not play after receiving a hit to the head in the third period on Sunday.
“My fingers crossed he can skate tomorrow,” Cameron said.
Kamloops Blazers’ Stankoven and Soo Greyhounds defenseman Ryan O’Rourke drew in their first games of the tournament.
Bédard’s fourth goal came at 2:34 of the third period. The Canadians scored six unanswered goals before Austria responded late in the second period.
Bedard scored two straight goals in 71 seconds late in the first period to give his team a 5-0 lead.
The Regina Pats forward then recovered the puck in an offensive zone draw and fired a wrist shot on Sommer at 6:13 of the second period to complete his hat trick.
He got a second hit on a pinball puck for a power play goal and completed a back and forth with Cuylle out of the run in the first period.
A blunder by Brochu led to Austria’s opening goal with 31 seconds left in the second period when the Canadian goaltender lost a run with Vinzenz Rohrer.
The Ottawa 67s had time to whip the puck against Necesany, who had an open half-net on target.
Austria were promoted to the top Junior Boys World Championship in 2021 by winning the 2020 Division 1 tournament. For a second year in a row, and due to COVID cancellations from lower level tournaments, no team will be relegated from this tournament.
“Canada is not the easiest team to face,” said Rohrer. “When we talk to the coaches in the locker room, we are just saying that we want to focus on our games and not on how relegation is going and which team it is.
“We had some really good parts of our game where we can really get something out of it. The second half we went 1-1.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 28, 2021.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press