Bedard shines as Canada downs Latvia at World Juniors 

Connor Bedard had a purpose and an help and Canada opened its world junior hockey championship with a decisive 5-2 victory over Latvia on Wednesday.

Ridly Greig and William Dufour every scored and contributed a helper, whereas Lukas Cormier and Olen Zellweger additionally discovered the again of the web. Captain Mason McTavish notched two assists for Canada (1-0-0).

Rainers Darzins and Bogdans Hodass put away objectives for the Latvians, who have been coming off a 6-1 drubbing by Finland on Tuesday.

Canada’s Sebastian Cossa made 24 saves and Patriks Berzins stopped 39 of 44 pictures for Latvia (0-2-0).

The Canadians will proceed round-robin motion Thursday once they tackle Slovakia (0-0-1).

The 2022 event is being held in August after the unique iteration was known as off on Dec. 29 after simply 4 days as rising COVID-19 instances amongst gamers and officers pressured video games to be forfeited.

Dufour gave the Canadians some respiration room with 5:16 to go within the third interval. The New York Islanders prospect collected a slick move from Greig and sending a fast shot in previous Berzins to offer his facet a 5-2 lead.

Canada broke out with a three-goal efficiency within the second however discovered themselves in bother within the last body resulting from a sequence of undisciplined penalties.

Latvia received 9 seconds of five-on-three play halfway via the third when Greig was known as for hooking after Kent Johnson had already been despatched to the field for delay of sport.

The Canadians weathered being down two males and Cossa preserved the benefit with a group of well timed stops.

Earlier within the interval, Latvia lower the deficit to 4-2 on an influence play after Greig was known as for tripping.

Just 4 seconds into the person benefit, Hodas — a Medicine Hat Tigers defenceman — ripped a shot off from the highest of the faceoff circle. The puck appeared to tick off Cossa’s pad on its manner into the web.

Greig capped an enormous center body by accumulating a move from Dufour alongside the boards for an odd-man rush and poking a puck previous Berzins at the 16:16 mark.

An influence-play purpose gave the Canadians a three-goal lead after Latvia captain Ralfs Bergmanis was known as for slashing.

Bedard arrange the play with a no-look backwards move to Zellweger at the blue line. The defenceman wound up and fired a rocket via visitors, discovering the again of the web 12:17 into the second.

Less than a minute earlier, Cormier scored with the person benefit after Dans Locmelis was known as for roughing.

Joshua Roy calmed a bouncing puck and dished it to Cormier, who despatched it crusing previous Berzins from the highest of the faceoff circle.

Canada’s energy play seemed to be in bother on its first try of the event earlier within the interval.

The man benefit noticed Cossa almost ship a puck into his personal web whereas attempting to clear and Johnson come inside inches of scoring an personal purpose. The host nation turned the puck over a number of occasions and Latvia registered a pair of short-handed pictures.

The Canadians went 1 for 4 on the facility play Wednesday and Latvia was 1 for five.

Canada stored Berzins busy throughout the primary interval, outshooting Latvia 18-4.

The host nation dominated play however Latvia scored the equalizer with lower than two minutes to play within the opening body. Darzins chipped a shot up and over Cossa stick facet to make it 1-1.

Bedard opened the scoring 7:31 into the sport, blasting a shot via a pair of Latvian defenders and over Berzins’ glove from the highest of the slot.

The 17-year-old Bedard, a ahead for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, is an early favorite to be picked first total within the 2023 NHL entry draft.

Earlier Tuesday, Winnipeg Jets prospect Daniel Torgersson scored twice as Sweden (1-0-0) took a 3-2 victory over Switzerland (0-1-0) in Group B play.

The last sport of the day is a conflict between Germany (0-1-0) and Austria (0-0-0).

NOTES: Greig turned 20 on Monday. The world juniors are a showcase of the most effective under-20 gamers throughout the globe, however the International Ice Hockey Federation has allowed athletes born in 2002 who’ve already turned 20 to play on this summer time’s championship. … Cossa was enjoying on acquainted ice, having helped the Edmonton Oil Kings to a WHL championship in June. … Canada’s purpose track is “Can’t Stop” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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