Bedard's 6 points power Canada past Austria for 2nd straight blowout win at world juniors
17-year-old ties Jordan Eberle for national record with 14th goal at tournament
Connor Bedard is doing his best to downplay an outrageous stat line.
It might be the only thing he hasn't accomplished at the world junior hockey championship.
The 17-year-old phenom had two goals and four assists to tie another national record just 24 hours after a seven-point performance as Canada pounded Austria 11-0 for the host country's second straight blowout win.
"I'm another player on the team," Bedard said. "We've got so many guys that are special players. I'm just here as one of the guys.
The presumptive first pick at the 2023 NHL draft is going about that work with assassin-like precision — including a goal against the Austrians from what should be an impossible angle.
"Phenomenal," Canadian forward Adam Fantilli said. "What he's been doing is so special, and the way he's doing it is amazing.
"Absolutely nothing but smiles for him right now."
WATCH l Bedard makes it to 14 goals in 12 world juniors games, ties record:
Bedard has scored six times in three games to tie Jordan Eberle's all-time Canadian mark of 14 goals at the men's under-20 event, and his 27 total points at the world juniors are just four back of the national record held by Eric Lindros.
"His ability to score goals is [among] the best I've ever seen," said captain Shane Wright. "He's always creative with the way he shoots the puck and where he can release it.
The North Vancouver, B.C., native's seven points in Wednesday's 11-2 victory over Germany also tied four others for the most by a player sporting the Maple Leaf at the tournament.
Bedard leads the world juniors with 14 points — seven more than linemate Logan Stankoven, who's at No. 2.
Stankoven added a goal and three assists Thursday, while Gaucher and Joshua Roy each scored and set up two others. Fantilli, with a goal and an assist, Wright, Dylan Guenther, Zach Dean, Nolan Allan and Tyson Hinds provided the rest of the offence.
Benjamin Gaudreau made 12 saves for the shutout.
Benedikt Oschgan stopped 36 shots for the overmatched Austrians, outscored 31-0 through their three games.
"The score is what it is, but I couldn't be prouder of the group," said Nova Scotia-born head coach Kirk Furey, whose largely no-name roster held a powerhouse opponent to one shot through the game's first 14 minutes. "We gave up one odd-man rush at the end against a team with everybody."
Canada was embarrassed 5-2 by the Czechs in Monday's opener before rebounding with that emphatic victory over Germany.
Sweden leads Group A with eight points, followed by Czechia's seven and Canada's six with one game to go for each.
WATCH | Protesters come out to the game:
The Canadians meet the Swedes on New Year's Eve, while Czechia — the country commonly known as the Czech Republic — will take on the Germans.
Bedard scored four times against Austria in an 11-2 triumph at last year's world juniors in Edmonton before the event was shelved until August because of COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Austrians lost 11-0 to Sweden in their opener before dropping a 9-0 decision Tuesday to Czechia, but were full marks for their start Thursday.
A roster stacked with nine first-round NHL draft picks, plus presumptive 2023 top-5 selections Bedard and Fantilli, Canada had a tentative opening against the European lightweights.
"We came out a little sluggish and a little careless with the puck," head coach Dennis Williams said. "They're a hard-working team, they're a disciplined team. They stayed inside the dots, we didn't want to go inside the dots.
The Canadians then went to their first power play and never looked back.
Guenther scored a hat trick against Germany — all off Bedard feeds — and got things started off with a slick no-look, between-the-legs pass from Brennan Othmann.
Dean snapped his first of the tournament before Wright scored his third on another man advantage from a Bedard setup for a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes.
"We got a good talk in between the first and the second — imposing our game, our style of play," Gaucher said. "We were a bit too soft."
Roy scored his second after the restart before Bedard, who had three goals against Germany, went to work on another highlight-reel effort when he roofed a shot upstairs from a next-to-impossible spot on the ice that had to be confirmed by video review.
"I've seen him do that so many times," Fantilli said. "He's pretty auto with that."
CONNOR BEDARD. 🤯<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldJuniors?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldJuniors</a><a href="https://t.co/hIYbJVgMwx">pic.twitter.com/hIYbJVgMwx</a>—@HockeyCanada
Bedard knew right away the puck was in.
"It was kind of weird," he said. "Everyone kind of stopped playing. I think they knew they were gonna go check it."
Allan made it 6-0 and Stankoven added his second from in tight on another sequence that required video review.
Fantilli scored his first on a power play early in the third to stretch Canada's lead to 8-0.
"You don't want to start slow," Bedard said. "But to be able to turn it around like we did ... I thought in the second and third, we played a lot harder.
Gaucher added his first before Bedard bagged his sixth, and 14th overall, on a play where Stankoven pushed the puck forward on an offensive zone faceoff to his diving linemate. Hinds then completed the rout with his first off a scramble.
But the night — just like 24 hours earlier — belonged to Bedard.
"He's just in another world," Furey said. "It's a pretty special moment to be behind the bench while he's on the ice, and for our players to experience that.
"Because they're not going to get that experience ever again."
WATCH l Bedard leads Canada past Germany with hat trick, 4 assists:
To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.
Become a CBC Account Holder
Join the conversation Create account
Already have an account?