Canada and Slovakia played a physical, intense, emotional game on Monday night in the quarterfinals of the World Junior Championship. The crowd was into it from the jump, the hitting and cross-checking and whacking and talking and poking was going on from the opening whistle. And it all ended just as you might expect an overtime thriller in this tournament to: with the hero of all heroes for Canada ending it with an obscene play. Connor Bedard, you are something else.
Connor Bedard may have assumed the same middle name as Bucky Dent and Bill Buckner.
Bedard scored Canada’s first goal of the game. He had an assist on their second goal. And his OT GWG gave him not only three points in the game, but simply extended his historic run at this tournament and on behalf of Canada. His first point of the night broke Eric Lindros’ record for career points in the WJC for Canada.
Bedard was credited with ten (10!) shots on net.
For Blackhawks prospects, Ethan Del Mastro skated 23:36 and did a terrific job being a steadying force on the blue line. Nolan Allan skated 14:24 and was a physical player. Canada skated seven defensemen and Kevin Korchinski was bumped to the end of the top six, skating just 8:06.
But if you were wondering why teams like the Blackhawks aren’t proactively trying to get better this season, this kid is the absolute real deal.