Canada Picks Up First Win At World Juniors

Team Canada picked up its first win of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship Wednesday, defeating Team Germany in an 11-2 victory.

It comes after a brutal defeat on Monday night, which saw Team Canada lose 5-2 to Team Czechia.

“That was a great way for us to respond and pick up our first win,” said Team Canada’s 17-year-old defenseman, Connor Bedard, who joins the team from the Regina Pats.

“We played physical and were back-checking hard and doing the little things that are going to make us successful … I was just happy to get the win.”

Bedard shone through the game by leading the offence with a hat trick and four assists. Dylan Guenther also had a hat trick, and Logan Stankoven chipped in with a goal and two assists.

Shane Wright, Brandt Clarke and Joshua Roy each contributed a goal and an assist, while Zack Ostaphchuk rounded out the Canadian scoring.

Olen Zellweger added three assists, and Thomas Milic made 14 saves.

Head Coach Dennis Williams said Team Canada had a strong performance, noting better puck management at the blue line and bringing a physical presence.

“We needed to make sure we were sharp in all facets of our game tonight, and while there were a few breakdowns in our own zone, I thought we had a strong performance from everyone,” he said.

Guenther, a 19-year-old winger for the Arizona Coyotes, said playing as a strong, consistent team throughout the whole game was a “step in the right direction.”

“We knew Germany was going to be a test for us and they were going to challenge us,” he said.

“We were able to score some gritty goals as well as some goals off nice plays, but I am happy with how we kept consistent … and did not try to change anything despite the score.”

Canada plays its next game against Austria on Dec. 29, with the puck drop at 7:30 p.m. AT.

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