HALIFAX | You are running out of words to describe what Connor Bedard is accomplishing at the World Youth Hockey Championship. Literally.
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The young prodigy shined again, and the word is weak, racking up two goals and an assist, including the game-winner in a 4-3 extra-time win over Slovakia in the quarterfinals on Monday night.
And he did it in the image of a young top of the class.
After just over five minutes into overtime, when ECJ failed to capitalize on a power play early in the period, Bedard took matters into his own hands. He does not. The number 16 taunted the three Slovakian players on the ice before finishing with a feint that goalkeeper Adam Gajan could not contain, causing hysteria in a Scotiabank Center where nervousness had begun to set in. ECJ had spurned the 3-1 lead that had been given in the second period.
“He is an exceptional player,” second coach Stéphane Julien agreed. There are not many. There are the Crosbys, the McDavids, these are players who change the face of a game with their sense of play and their talent. We saw him tonight, he was tired when he played, but it’s exceptional to see that, the talent that he has. We are very happy that he is part of the team. The fans couldn’t ask for more. A show like that, with an exceptional player like that, I will remember all my life and I think the people who watched the game will remember it too.
After Mason McTavish’s defensive play in the final of the last World Cup, Bedard likely provided another scene that will remain in the annals for many years to come.
“I’ve played hockey games, but this is the best game I’ve ever had. I’m not a stressed guy, but on the bench, in overtime, I was looking forward to something. Bedard was buzzing and buzzing and at some point, I don’t know how he did it, but it counted”, summed up his linemate Joshua Roy.
Records, records, records
It only took 6 min 7 sa for Connor Bedard to become the king of Canadian junior hockey. His goal in the first half had allowed him to break four records at once.
After an early game in which the Canadians were somewhat surprised by the aggressiveness of the Slovaks up front, Bedard had roused the Scotiabank Center crowd by beating Gajan with an accurate shot as he broke away having caught a pass. by Logan Stankoven.
This goal earned him a 32nd career point in this event to officially break Eric Lindros’ record. His 15th career goal also allowed him to surpass Jordan Eberle’s mark of 14.
The net was also his 19th tournament point, another record for a Canadian player in a single competition. He, too, surpassed Jaromir Jagr’s total in 1990, to become the under-18 player with the most points in a tournament. He then was an accomplice in his team’s second goal, by Dylan Guenther, to break another record, the most mentioned assists in a single tournament by a Canadian player, with 13.
“It’s fine for me, but the important thing is victory. I want another gold medal”, mentioned the young Bedard.
And when he says he doesn’t care about records, you have to believe him, Roy says.
“He is humble and that is what is impressive about him. He is not someone who is above his business. He is down to earth and is respected by all the players. He is the best player in the tournament and he never talked about his points. We are very happy for him and I’m sure he will continue to do well.
Dimanche, les Slovaques ne s’étaient pas défilés : ils avaient mentionn avec confiance avoir ce qu’il fallait pour battre le Canada et que la clé serait le jeu physique, et c’est exactly ce qu’ils ont fait tout au long de the meeting. In the third half, their aggressiveness forced ECJ to play on their heels and generate many turnovers in defensive territory. Goalie Thomas Milic had to outdo himself multiple times to keep his team in the game.
“We don’t go there without Milic in the net,” admitted head coach Dennis Williams.
In extra time, the 19-year-old goalkeeper made a true steal with the glove, preserving the tie.
“I thought the drive was on the network,” Bedard said. He was almost crying on the bench. He didn’t know he made the save until I heard the crowd’s reaction. He was so scared. God, thank you, he’s amazing.”
The brilliance of the Canadian goalkeeper finally allowed Bedard to play the heroes against the Slovaks who have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
“We can play with him, if we play tight. But he still scored the winning goal. He comes from another planet, ”only the Slovakian captain Simon Nemec could recognize, who was on the ice when Bedard ended the debate.
He does not. 16 Canadian now has 21 points in five games since the start of the competition.
against the united states
Canada’s junior team will now face the United States in the semifinals on Wednesday. The latter eliminated Germany 11-1 yesterday in a match presented at the Center Avenir in Moncton.
The last time the two teams met in the semifinals was in 2007, when Canada and Carey Price won 2-1 in a historic shootout.
“What’s better than that? What more could you ask for? Everyone in the country, and even on the mainland, will be very excited as this game approaches. There is no better situation,” added Bedard.
The other semifinal will face the Czech Republic and Sweden.
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