Bedard dazzles with 7 points
by Andrew Podnieks|29 DEC 2022
Canada's Connor Bedard scores a first-period goal against Germany.
photo: Matt Zambonin / IIHF
Connor Bedard dominated the game from start to finish, scoring a beauty on a breakaway in the first and leading Canada to an 11-2 win over Germany tonight in Halifax. The win evens Canada’s record at 1-1 while the Germans fall to 0-2 and might well be fighting with Austria to avoid having to play in the relegation round.

Bedard had seven points (three goals, four assists), tying a Canadian record. Canada set another U20 record with five power-play goals in the second period, and the teams combined for eight PPG, tying another record (CAN 7-GER 1). Dylan Guenther also had a hat trick and Olen Zellweger chipped in with three assists. In all, 12 Canadians got at least one point.

"It's cool," Bedard said of his Canadian record. "There are probably some pretty good names on that list, but it's not a huge deal for me. We got the win, and I got a couple of lucky ones. It was one of those nights."

Canada has now won 27 of 28 games between the teams in U20 history, the lone German victory, 7-6, coming back in 1981.

Canada plays again tomorrow, against those Austrians, while Germany and Austria tangle in that critical game on Friday.

"We were pretty hungry today, wanting to bounce back after the first game," Bedard added. "We were pretty upset after that one. We were physical tonight, backchecking hard and doing those little things. I thought we played a good overall game."

"For all three periods and 60 minutes that was Team Canada hockey," captain Shane Wright enthused. "We were expecting to play a bounce-back game, and that's what we did. You never like to run up the score, but goal differential matters. We started the same right away, from the first puck drop we were solid with the forecheck and playing solid defensively. Happy overall with how we played. We were  a lot more focused tonight and dialled into the game plan."
Canada vs Germany - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship
CAN GER 29 DEC 2022
Canada jumped into an early lead thanks in large part to receiving the only three power plays of the opening period. They capitalized on the first one with a gorgeous three-way passing play off the rush. Zellweger fed Bedard in the circle and he found Dylan Guenther to the back side for the easy goal at 6:46.

Less than five minutes later, however, the Germans tied the game on a goal that had an odor to it for fans hoping to see better goaltending from the home side tonight. Roman Kechter’s simple wrist shot trickled through the pads of Thomas Milic at 11:08 as fans groaned in dismay. Milic played the last half of the team’s first game after replacing Benjamin Gaudreau, who allowed five goals on a poor night. Milic responded, though, and was solid the rest of the night.

No matter, though. Canada scored again on the power play when Wright banged home a loose puck from the crease. Four minutes later, Bedard dazzled. Logan Stankoven fed him a breakaway pass that was behind him, but Bedard twirled and controlled the puck, went in alone, and snapped a perfect shot past the outstretched glove of Simon Wolf at 17:26 to make it 3-1.

Bedard got his second of the game just 62 seconds into the middle period off a miscue by the Germans. Wolf tried to play a loose puck by the side of the goal but defender Rayan Bettahar got his stick on it and the puck trickled in front where Bedard smacked it into the open goal.

He got the hat trick at 13:57 on another power play, wiring a high shot over Wolf’s glove. Soon after, Bettahar took a match penalty for a head hit on Adam Fantilli, and Canada exploded in record fashion, scoring four times with the extra skater in a span of just over three minutes. Two of those came off beautiful cross-ice passes from Bedard to Guenther.

Brandt Clarke got another off a point blast, and Logan Stankoven finished the assault with a close-in goal with only 3.2 seconds remaining. Canada’s five power-play goals in the period set a new U20 record, and after 40 minutes Bedard had six points on the night.

Canada hit double digits 1:22 into the third on a long, high shot from Zack Ostapchuk that beat Rihards Babulis, who came on to replace a beleaguered Wolf and was making his Team Germany debut.

Bedard got his seventh point, another assist, while the fans were starting the wave. He dashed the length of the ice and dropped it to Joshua Roy who wired a shot past Babulis to make it 11-1.

Germany got their second of the night on a power play of their own, a long blast from Philip Sinn going all the way. 
Canada vs Germany - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship