Canada needed an answer after a miserable 48 hours.
Conor Bedard – as he did so often in his young career – delivered deadly accuracy.
The 17-year-old scored a hat-trick and four assists on Wednesday as the host nation got back on track at the World Junior Hockey Championships with an emphatic 11-2 victory over Germany.
“An incredible match,” said Canadian captain Shane Wright. “So crazy what he’s doing there. A special evening.”
Bedard’s seven-point performance tied the Canadian record in a single game one night, and the Under-20 favorites needed an answer after Monday’s embarrassing 5-2 loss to the Czech Republic.
“It’s incroyable,” announced the premier choix presumptive of the 2023 LNH repêchage that rejoined Dave Andreychuk (1983), Brenden Morrow (1999), Mike Cammalleri (2002) and Gabriel Bourque (2010) on the formation of separate points. form Canada. “But I don’t care. It’s good to win.”
“I had two very lucky couples. Just one of those nights.”
Watch Bédard’s 3 goals, 4 of which helped Canada beat Germany:
Bedard now has 12 all-time World Junior Championship goals, two successors to Jordan Eberle’s national record.
“I’ll text him saying he’s got a hot guy in his heels,” Wright said of Eberle, a fellow NHL member of the Seattle Kraken. “I don’t think we’ll focus too much on that, but it would be special if he beat them all the way.”
“He was on fire,” Canadian coach Dennis Williams added of Bédard. “The ball was unreal.”His creativity, his composure…a great night.
Dylan Ginter also had a hat trick – all thanks to assists from Bedard – while Logan Stankoven added a goal and two assists.
Wright, Brandt Clarke and Joshua Roy, with one goal and one assist each, Zach Ostapchuk also scored.
Olin Zellweger provided three assists while Williams rocked three of his forwards – including parting with Bedard and Wright – after a disjointed and disjointed effort against the Czechs.
“We arrived with more determination,” said the coach. “I played stronger in a group.”
Tomas Milic made 14 saves in his international debut for Canada. Roman Kechter and Philipp Sen responded when Germany secured 30 passes from Simon Wolf before being replaced by Reihards Papoulis for the third time in the draw. Papolis finished with 11 saves.
“We were very hungry,” Bedard said. “It was a great way to come back.”
Austria until the next day
Canada, which improved its all-time record to 16-0 against the Germans, will now quickly move on to Austria – who have outscored them 20-0 in both matches of the tournament – again on Thursday at the Scotiabank Centre.
After losing 1-0 to Sweden on Tuesday, Germany returned on Thursday ahead of Friday’s game against Austria.
A talent-rich team filled with nine first-round NHL Draft draft picks, plus Bedard and fellow prospect Adam Fantelli, the Czechs stunned in an uninspired game that left the mighty nation looking for answers.
This included players doubting their readiness and readiness, while Fantelli and Bedard attempted and failed early on in “Michigan” style lacrosse moves—a sequence then seen as symptomatic of the Canadiens’ loose style against an underdog opponent.
There will be no repeat.
“We didn’t change our style of play based on the result,” Gunter said. “Love him…he was amazing.”
Arizona Coyotes forward opened things up on the powerplay in the first period on a Bedard pass before Kitcher struck Milic.
Wright was credited with his second goal of the tournament to another man when a German defender kicked the ball into his own net.
Bedard, who scored four goals in an 11-2 win over Austria a year earlier the day before that tournament was postponed due to COVID-19, made it 3-1 when he made a long pass and fired a shot past Wolf, earning another. As early as a second on the wrong direction of the target.
“We were more focused,” Wright said. “We knew we had to respond after the effort we put in in the last match.”
Wright said Bedard can put up a few points a night in the NHL right now.
“Amazing,” said the No. 4 pick in the 2022 draft. “I haven’t seen many individual performances like that. Very special.”
Gunter added: “He will be an influential player there, I think, right away.”
Bedard covered another play hat-trick through the screen before Ryan was cheerfully assessed a penalty and sent off for illegally checking his head on Fantilli.
That’s when the doors really opened.
Günter scored his second goal with a great Bédard pass to make it 6-1 and Clarke hit a German defender once.
Bedard then put Gunther into the same powerhouse for the third time and added another Stankoven late in the period to take a 9-1 lead in 40 minutes.
Ostapchuk made it 10-1 early in the third period before Bedard set up Roy’s goal on the seventh point of the night.
Sheen scored a late consolation goal in a tense game with Germany to cap off a night that saw Canada return to normal after an uncomfortable few days.
“This is how we play hockey,” Wright said. “The three periods – 60 minutes each – were a hickey for Team Canada. We expected a rebound game and that’s exactly what we got.
Really proud of our efforts.