Canada got five points from Connor Bedard to book its semifinal spot with a convincing win over the Czechs
FRISCO, Texas – Relentless, through and through.
The Czech Republic hung around, but Canada’s offensive tools proved too
much to handle.
Connor Bedard (North Vancouver, B.C./Regina, WHL) led the way in the
quarterfinals Monday at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship, posting two
goals and three assists to send Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team
through to the semifinals with a 10-3 win over the Czech Republic.
Shane Wright (Burlington, Ont./Kingston, OHL) increased his team-leading
goal total to six, going top shelf on a late power play to get Canada to
double digits for the second time in five games. The captain also added an
Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Alta./Edmonton, WHL) scored a pair of goals in
the second period to increase his tournament total to four goals and three
assists in five games.
Head coach Dave Barr elected to go with Benjamin Gaudreau (Corbeil,
Ont./Sarnia, OHL) in goal for the second-straight game, and the netminder
battled to another solid performance with 29 saves, including a point-blank
glove stop off Lukas Pajer in the second period that is a
It took just two minutes for the Canadians to break through when Wyatt
Johnston (Toronto, Ont./Windsor, OHL) was left open in front to bury
Bedard’s backhand pass.
Conner Roulette (Winnipeg, Man./Seattle, WHL) exemplified Canada’s
relentless pursuit of the Czechs two minutes later when he forced an
offensive-zone turnover and netted his first of the tournament on an
A sublime deflection from Bedard off a net-bound effort from Danny Zhilkin
(Mississauga, Ont./Guelph, OHL) chased Czech netminder Tomas Suchanek and
gave Canada a commanding 3-0 lead before the seven-minute mark.
Pajer hammered a one-timer on a Czech power play 2:21 later to give them
life, but Logan Stankoven had his snap shot trickle through Oliver Satny
and over the line for a 4-1 Canadian advantage through 20 minutes.
The Czechs were disciplined, taking just two minor infractions, but Canada
made both of its power plays count, running its tournament-best unit to
11-for-24 (45.8 per cent).
Guenther scored his first of two in the middle frame off Bedard’s shot that
hit the post on Canada’s first man advantage before Jaroslav Chmelar made
the most of a good bounce to pull another goal back for the Czechs minutes
The Edmonton product knocked a feed from Brennan Othmann (Pickering,
Ont./Flint, OHL) past Satny with just 69 seconds left before the
intermission to give Canada a four-goal lead through 40 minutes.
The floodgates opened a little further early in the third period when
Bedard and Ryan Winterton (Whitby, Ont./Hamilton, OHL) struck just 15
seconds apart to make it an 8-2 hockey game.
Gabriel Szturc’s tally at 8:33 of the final frame represented the Czechs’
last offensive move before Brett Harrison (Dorchester, Ont./Oshawa, OHL)
and Wright capped off an efficient afternoon for the Canadians, who scored
10 times on 34 shots.
The semifinals are set for Wednesday, with Canada awaiting results from
later in the day to determine its opponent.