In their second tournament game, Team Canada beat Austria 11-2 to improve to 2-0. Although the score was lopsided, Austria played well and scored more goals in this game then they did all of last year during the 2021 World Juniors. Once again, the WHL played a big role as Canada looks to be finding their stride early in the tournament.
A Blazing Start
Canada jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead early in the game of goals from Kent Johnson, Lukas Cormier and Kamloops Blazer’s star Logan Stankoven. The Dallas Stars prospect made his World Junior’s debut and finished the game with a goal in 12:17 playing mostly on a line with Johnson and Mason McTavish. He did not look out of place and showed why he should be an everyday player in this tournament.
Heeeey Heeeey Connor, I Wanna Knoow-ohhh If You’ll Score Four Goals
During the game Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats became the first 16-year-old to score a hat-trick since Wayne Gretzky in 1977. Not only did he score a hat-trick, but he also added one more to become the youngest player ever to score four goals in a World Juniors game. He finished the game 12 shots and 14:33 of ice-time. The performance was a special one and will be remembered for a long time.
Austria Lowers the Böhm on the Power Play
On their lone power play of the game, Austria cashed in thanks to a goal by Mathias Böhm late in the third. There other goal of the night belonged to Lukáš Nečesaný who found the back of the net midway through the second. The real hero of the night however was goaltender Leon Sommer who made 53 saves on 64 shots. He was Austria’s best player and should have won player of the game.
Close to a Perfetti Performance in the Third
Despite giving up a power play goal late, Canada had a great third period. They scored five times with goals from Cole Perfetti, Bedard, McTavish (2) and Mavrik Bourque. They also outshot Austria 20-8 during the period. The best part of the third was that no one on Canada was injured. They rolled the lines well and ensured everyone made it out of the game. This tournament is short so teams can not afford an injury, especially late in a blowout.
Three Top WHL Players of the Game
Here are the top three WHL players from this game. The players can be from either team, the only requirement is that they play in the WHL:
Connor Bedard- Regina Pats/ Canada
4 goals, +3, 12 shots, 14:33 TOI
Dylan Guenther- Edmonton Oil Kings/ Canada
2 assists, +1, 3 shots, 16:04 TOI
Ronan Seeley- Everett Silvertips/ Canada
2 assists, +2, 5 shots, 15:33 TOI
Canada was scheduled to be right back at it on December 29th to take on the Germans. We were looking for Team Germany to push the Canadians as they try and avenge the 16-2 loss they suffered during last years tournament.
Puck drop was set for 4:00 pm PST from Edmonton before the IIHF announced a cancellation of the remainder of the tournament.