Four goals for Bédard in the Canadian game

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In the first period alone, Canada edged Austria 25-6. It was the open season for Austrian goalkeeper Leon Sommer. The 19-year-old Linz native was making his junior world championship debut.

Kent Johnson opened the power-play score at 5:08 with a magnificent receiving shot for him by Cole Perfetti and Owen Power, who together won the IIHF World Championship in Latvia in June. Against the Czech Republic, Power – Johnson’s teammate with the University of Michigan – also became the first Canadian defenseman to win a hat trick at the World Juniors.

Barely 55 seconds later, it was 2-0. Defenseman Lukas Cormier crossed the line, barely keeping the puck in play and waltzed to score low on the glove side.

Cameron inserted Logan Stankoven of the Kamloops Blazers, who won gold against Russia in the 2021 U18 World Cup final, into the lineup for his first World Juniors appearance alongside Johnson and Mason McTavish. It paid off. Stankoven rushed into the Austrian zone and threw a high wrist on the side of the stick which beat Sommer to a 3-0 lead at 8:22.

Sommer tried to keep him close to him. When Bedard removed Austrian defenseman Luca Erne from his proverbial jock strap to enter on his own, the goalie received a round of applause with a spectacular glove save on the likely top pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

“I think everyone knows Canada is not the easiest opponent, but they have had a lot of high quality shots,” said Austria’s Vinzenz Rohrer.

Sommer was less fortunate on another Canadian power play. Bedard had two puck snags after Jake Neighbors set him up from the goal line. His first career World Juniors goal came at 3:02 pm.

Just an hour and 11 later, the 16-year-old Regina Pats superstar took advantage of a masterful rush with Will Cuylle for a 5-0 margin.

“Everyone makes it easy when you play here with these guys,” said Bedard. “It was a good game for our team and obviously I was lucky to have those goals.”

In the second period, Bédard completed his hat trick at 6:13, smashing and dancing unhindered through Austrian defenders to get a good shot behind Sommer.

In his first World Juniors start, Canadian goaltender Brett Brochu made 20 saves for the win. However, the Austrians spoiled the veteran London Knights’ shutout attempt with 31 seconds left in the second period. Brochu came out to play the puck and lost his footing. Vinzenz Rohrer retrieved the puck by the side boards and sent it across the ice to Lukas Necesany, who sent it into the gaping cage as Brochu sprawled out.

“He gave a great pass and I just put it in the empty net,” said Necesany. “I’m really happy for that and grateful for the nice pass! “

Barely 27 seconds into the third period, the Austrian defensemen completely crossed and rebounded the puck, allowing Perfetti to score a goal from the enclave and restore Canada’s six-goal advantage.

Austria seemed mentally and physically strapped for fuel as time went on.

Bedard scored his fourth goal on a good tip at 2:34. Mason McTavish added two goals 47 seconds apart to give Canada a 10-1 lead with less than six minutes of the last stanza. Perfetti prepared Mavrik Bourque in the race for the 11-1 marker at 6:47.

“This is only our second game, so you know we have a long way to go and we will try to improve with every game,” said Bédard.

Austria’s Mathias Bohm hit in a power-play rebound at 12:20 to give Vienna fans much to celebrate.

The host country was missing important pieces. Against Czechia, Shawinigan Cataractes forward Xavier Bourgault was injured on a Stanislav Svozil hit, while Vancouver Giants captain Justin Sourdif was suspended for one game for his hit against Jiri Tichacek. However, their absence will not prevent Canada from crushing Austria.

No team will be relegated this year. So whether the Austrians shine or fall apart from now on, they will return for the 2023 tournament in Novosibirsk and Omsk, Russia.

Canada will claim their third consecutive 2022 World Juniors victory over Germany on Wednesday, while Austria face Czechia on Thursday.

“The key is to focus on the way we play,” Rohrer said. “Focus on the shots, drive the puck, throw a forward check, hit someone, be really serious. It’s the biggest key to our success, being serious and really wanting the puck.


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