Home sport Bédard sparks a rally as Canada eliminates the USA from the Junior World Championships

Bédard sparks a rally as Canada eliminates the USA from the Junior World Championships

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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Connor Bedard scored a second-period goal, electrifying a hungry crowd as Canada defeated the United States 6-2 in the semifinals of the Junior World Championships on Wednesday.

Team Canada hosts the Czech Republic in the tournament title game on Thursday.

Bedard, 17, the tournament’s leading scorer and first NHL draft pick this year, hit the home runs at 11:49 of the second period, with assists from Ethan Del Mastro and Joshua Roy, making it 2-0 for Team USA. In the half and transfer the momentum to the hosts.

Logan Stankoven, Adam Fantelli and Roy also scored as Team Canada beat American goalkeeper Trey Augustine in the second period. During the 11-minute segment, the USA team went from a 2-0 lead to a 4-2 lead. In the third period, Brandt Clark scored to make Canada lead 5-2, before Roy added a blank score.

Logan Cooley, who plays for the Minnesota Golden Gophers and is a first-round pick for the Arizona Coyotes, scored for the Americans in the first period, followed by a goal by Kenny Connors, a fourth-round pick for the Los Angeles Kings and . . Forward for UMass Minutemen.

Tomas Milic scored the first two touchdowns as the Canadiens made 43 saves en route to victory. Augustin, 17, who signed up to play for the Michigan State Spartans, finished with a 31-year lead on the US National Team.

The rivalry game was a rematch of the 2021 World Junior Finals, in which the Anaheim Ducks’ Trevor Zegras led Team USA to victory.

Canada, who won last year’s title in August, is now waiting for the Czech Republic, who staged a rally of their own on Wednesday. David Jereček equalized with 39 seconds left, and Jiri Kulich scored late in extra time to defeat Sweden 2–1 in the other semi-final.

The Czechs reached the final for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001, and avoided a penalty shootout when Kulish, a first-round pick from the Buffalo Sabers, cut in from the right into the slot and lifted the ball over goaltender Karl Lindbom’s right shoulder with 50 seconds left. The end of the additional ten minutes.

The USA team, which scored two goals disallowed due to goalkeeper interference against Canada, will meet Sweden for the bronze medal on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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