WJC roundup: 2023 top prospect Bedard scores four goals in Canada win

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Tuesday is the third day of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, which is being held in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.

 

Day 3 games

Canada 11, Austria 2 — Connor Bedard (2023 NHL Draft eligible) scored four goals and Canada (2-0-0-0) coasted to victory in Group A at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Bedard is the youngest player on Canada and the first 16-year-old to score a hat trick for it at the IIHF World Junior Championship since Wayne Gretzky did so twice in 1977.

“It’s obviously pretty cool to hear your name with (Gretzky),” Bedard said. “Whenever you get that kind of honor, it’s pretty crazy and surreal but, like I said, it’s the second game of the tournament, so I’m obviously trying not to get too high on myself. But, it’s definitely pretty cool to hear that.”

A top prospect for the 2023 NHL Draft, Bedard is the sixth player, and the youngest, to score four goals for Canada, joining Mario Lemieux (1983), Simon Gagne (1999), Brayden Schenn (2011), Taylor Raddysh (2017) and Max Comtois (2019). The WJC record is six scored by Ola Rosander for Sweden in 1987.

Mason McTavish (Anaheim Ducks) had two goals and an assist, Cole Perfetti (Winnipeg Jets) had a goal and two assists, and Brett Brochu (2022 NHL Draft eligible) made 20 saves for Canada.

Lukas Necesany (2022 draft eligible) scored at 19:29 of the second period, Mathias Bohm (2022 draft eligible) scored at 12:20 of the third period, and Leonhard Sommer (2022 draft eligible) made 53 saves for Austria (0-0-0-2).

Kent Johnson (Columbus Blue Jackets) opened the scoring with a one-timer on a power play at 5:08 of the first period, and 55 seconds later defenseman Lukas Cormier (Vegas Golden Knights) made it 2-0.

Logan Stankoven (Dallas Stars) scored off the rush at 8:22 to extend the lead to 3-0. Bedard scored a power-play goal at 15:02 and even-strength goals at 16:13 of the first period and 6:13 of the second for the hat trick.

“Full marks to Connor. It’s like the team, a work in progress. We ask guys to improve … and Connor doesn’t need my help when the puck is on his stick and he’s in the offensive zone,” Canada coach Dave Cameron said. “He’s got exceptional status for a reason. Connor’s like some of the other offensive guys on our team, that have got to mature their game away from the puck, so they can get out of their own end, through the neutral zone and then their strength can take over.”

Canada made it 11-2 with goals by Perfetti, Bedard and Mavrik Bourque (Dallas Stars), and two from McTavish in the first 6:47 of the third period.

Canada next plays Germany on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET). Austria next plays Czechia on Thursday (4:30 p.m. ET).

Switzerland 1, United States 0 (forfeit) — The Group B game scheduled for WP Centrium in Red Deer was canceled due to two COVID-19 positive tests for the United States.

“We’re extremely disappointed, especially for our players,” United States general manager John Vanbiesbrouck said. “We’re operating in an ever-changing landscape and that’s very challenging. We’ve followed the tournament protocol from the outset and will continue to do everything we can to ensure our players have the opportunity to compete at the World Junior Championship.”

The United States (1-0-0-1), the defending champion, is scheduled to play Sweden (2-0-0-0) on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN, RDS). The United States has entered quarantine and a determination on the status of that game had not yet been made by the IIHF.

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