With the USA-Switzerland game in Red Deer being canceled earlier in the evening and forfeited to the Swiss (due to the Americans going into quarantine after two players tested positive for COVID), there was one game on the docket tonight at the 2022 IIHF Word Junior Championship.
This put all eyes on Canada versus Austria from Edmonton tonight.
Unfortunately for Austria, this one ended up very lopsided. Canada won 11-2 while 16-year-old Canadian phenom Connor Bedard scored four goals – nearly adding a fifth at the end of the game on the power play as well.
Kent Johnson kicked off the scoring for the Canadians on the power play. Johannes Tschurnig took a hooking penalty just 4:23 into the game. Johnson scored at 5:08 from Cole Perfetti and Johnson’s Michigan Wolverines teammate Owen Power to make it 1-0 Canada.
Lukas Cormier doubled the lead at 6:03 gone by in the first when he scored off helpers from Dylan Guenther and Ridly Greig. That made it 2-0 Canada.
About 2:20 later, with 8:22 gone by, Logan Stankoven scored to make it 3-0 Canada. Mason McTavish and Ronan Seeley had the assists on this one.
The floodgates opened even further when Bedard notched his first on the power play. At the 13:21 mark, Tobias Sablattnig was called for a hook, setting up the Canadian power play.
Bedard scored at 15:02 gone by from Jake Neighbours and Shane Wright.
Bedard was not done before the end of the first period either. Just 1:11 after his first goal, he scored again – this time at even strength – from Elliot Desnoyers and Will Cuylle.
By the first intermission, Canada had built up a 5-0 lead. They were not even remotely done there.
At 6:13 gone by in the second period, Bedard completed the natural hat trick when he scored from Desnoyers to make it 6-0. The Canadians had six goals already and half of them belonged to Connor Bedard – he was making this hockey thing look pretty easy tonight.
Then a breakthrough as Austria got on the big board. Lukas Necesany scored with 31 seconds to go in the second period after holding the Canadians to one goal in the frame. Vinzenz Rohrer had the lone assist on Necesany’s goal that made it 6-1 Canada.
But the Canadians would pour it on come the third.
It began 27 seconds in when Perfetti scored from Mavrik Bourque to make it 7-1.
At 2:34 gone, Bedard got his fourth of the night from Cuylle and Desnoyers to make it 8-1.
With 4:44 gone, McTavish scored from Guenther and Kaiden Guhle. That made it 9-1 and at this rate, Canada was scoring a goal every two minutes or so in the third period.
McTavish scored his second of the night (from Ronan Seeley and Power) at 5:31 to make it 10-1.
Bourque finished the Canadian scoring at 5:47 when he made it 11-1 off of an assist by Perfetti.
That was not the end of the scoring in the contest, though, as at 10:32, Canada’s Carson Lambos went to the box for cross checking. On the ensuing power play, Austria’s Mathias Bohm scored from Leon Wallner and David Reinbacher to make it 11-2 Canada. That goal came at 12:20, just as the man advantage was about to wear off.
Canada would end the game on the power play as Lukas Horl was nabbed for hooking at 18:13. Let the record show that Bedard nearly scored his fifth goal here.
He made a nice individual move around an Austrian defender and then hit the post before his stick failed him on the rebound and he was unable to bury that.
And with that, the final horn sounded in Edmonton and the slaughter was over. Not surprisingly, Bedard was named Canada’s player of the game.
Austrian goaltender Leon Sommer made 53 saves on 64 Canadian shots against. He faced a lot of rubber and largely held his own for most of the early part of the game.
For Canada, Brett Brochu made 20 saves on 22 Austrian shots against.
Canada is next in action tomorrow against Germany at Rogers Place while Austria will try to get back on the horse against Czechia on Thursday.
Our full schedule for tomorrow will see Finland against Czechia in Group A along with Canada-Germany. In Group B at Red Deer, Slovakia will take on Russia and, should everything be okay health-wise, the USA will face Sweden.
Also, the Devils are back in action tomorrow up in Buffalo and we will have coverage of that game for you right here.
Until then, enjoy your mid-week everyone!