Connor Bedard puts on a show again as Canada washes away Austria 11-0

HALIFAX — In the space of 24 hours, Connor Bedard has shown why he’s seen as the top prospect in the upcoming NHL Draft.

After posting a seven-point performance the night before, Bedard picked up six in Canada’s 11-0 crushing win over Austria on Thursday night at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Bedard finished the game with two goals and four assists, a day after tying the Canadian record for most points in a game at the tournament against Germany.

« I’m just another player on the team, » Bedard said modestly. We have so many special players. I’m just here as one of the players. And of course, I try to contribute to the success of the team.

When he scored for the second time against Austria, Bedard joined Jordan Eberle as the top scorer for Team Canada Junior with 14 goals. Both players achieved the feat in just 12 games.

« His scoring ability is among the best I’ve seen, » said captain Shane Wright. He is always creative in how he throws the puck and where he can release it. It is very impressive. »

Several of Bedard’s teammates took advantage of this confrontation against the worst team in the tournament to fatten their personal records. Logan Stankoven had a goal and three assists, Quebecers Nathan Gaucher and Joshua Roy both had a goal and two assists, while Adam Fantilli scored a goal and set up another.

Wright, Dylan Guenther, Zachary Dean, Nolan Allan and Tyson Hinds all added a goal for Canada (2-0-0-1), who sit third in Group A behind Czechia (2-0-1-0 ) and Sweden (2-1-0-0).

After being chased out of his net against the Czech Republic, as a curtain raiser to the tournament, Benjamin Gaudreau recorded the shutout thanks to 12 saves.

Benedikt Oschgan had a night that was the opposite of Gaudreau’s, allowing 11 goals on 47 shots for Austria (0-0-0-3), who are in the fifth and bottom tier of Group A.

“The score is what it is, but I couldn’t be more proud of this group,” said Austria head coach Kirk Furey, who was born in Nova Scotia. We gave a surplus at the end, against a team that only has good players.

Canada will have the day off before finishing the preliminary round with an important game against Sweden on Saturday night.

Bedard show

After Wednesday night’s attacking spree, one would have expected Canada to build on their momentum quickly, but their first shot on goal came about eight minutes into the game.

« Our start was a little slow and we sometimes played with fire with the puck, even though we built a three-goal lead in the first period, » said Canada’s head coach Dennis Williams. Austria are a disciplined, hard-working team, but we were able to take our game up a notch after a slow start.”

Once smart, the Canadian players gradually made their opponents look bad, especially on the power play.

On Canada’s first power play, Bedard spotted Brennan Othmann near the net and Othmann slid the puck through his pads toward Guenther, who completed the move into an abandoned net.

Less than two minutes later, Dean’s shot dodged a few players before deceiving Oschgan’s vigilance. Austria’s indiscipline once again came at a price before the end of the first period, when Bedard delivered a fine backhand pass to Wright, who easily hit the target.

Dennis Williams’ squad were much quicker on the trigger in the second period, scoring three goals in the first six minutes.

Roy, Bedard and Allan took turns threading the needle and the expression wasn’t too strong on Team Canada’s fifth goal. Coming down the right wing, Bedard dramatically placed the puck a few inches over Oschgan’s shoulder and under the crossbar.

Stankoven scored Canada’s seventh goal, at 14:32, but he had to wait several minutes before celebrating. The small forward lodged the puck in the corner of the net, but play continued for about a minute. After reviewing the video replay, the referee finally upheld the Dallas Stars prospect’s second goal of the tournament.

Fantilli continued the party early in the final third, when his wrist shot beat Oschgan. Gaucher and Bedard, in an interval of 1:18, allowed Canada to reach the ten. Hinds sealed the game with less than two minutes remaining.

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