Canada reached the medal round with a vengeance at the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship on Monday afternoon.
A three-goal outburst in the opening seven minutes set the tone for a quarter-final contest in Frisco, Texas as Canada cruised to a 10-3 triumph over the Czech Republic as they qualified for the final four for the second straight tournament.
Regina Pats forward Connor Bedard turned in his best performance of the tournament to date as he scored two goals and added three assists.
Dylan Guenther (Edmonton Oil Kings) lit the lamp twice and Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes) dished out three helpers for Canada, who finished first in Group A with a 4-0 record.
Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs), Logan Stankoven (Kamloops Blazers), Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires), Brett Harrison (Oshawa Generals), Conner Roulette (Seattle Thunderbirds) and Ryan Winterton (Hamilton Bulldogs) also scored in the triumph, which saw Benjamin Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting) stop 29 shots.
Nolan Allan of the Prince Albert Raiders was on the top defensive pairing with Brandt Clarke of the Barrie Colts, but was held without a point.
Gabriel Szturc, Jaroslav Chmelar and Lukas Pajer found the back of the net for the Czech Republic, who had finished fourth in Group B with a 1-3 mark.
Tri-City Americans import draft pick Tomas Suchanek was pulled after allowing three goals on five shots, with teammate Oliver Satny making 22 saves in relief.
Canada will now prepare for Wednesday’s semifinal contest at 3 p.m. against Sweden, who picked up a 5-2 in their quarter-final matchup with the United States
The loss for the Americans resulted in the end of their 16-year medal streak at the tournament and also meant that they will miss out on the medal round for the first time since 2001.
The other semifinal contest on Wednesday will see Finland take on Russia at 7 p.m.
Russia advanced to the final four with a 5-2 win over Belarus, while Finland came away with a 2-0 quarter-final triumph over Switzerland.
Belarus’ loss also marked the end of the tournament for 2020 Raiders import draft pick Uladzislau Shyla, who had three assists in five games.
The gold medals and bronze medal games will be held on Thursday, with all of the final four games being aired nationally on TSN.
- Russia 5 Belarus 2 (Danila Yurov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk) – One Goal and One Assist)
- Canada 10 Czech Republic 3 (Connor Bedard (Regina Pats) – Two Goals and Three Assists)
- Finland 2 Switzerland 0 (Aku Koskenvuo (HIFK – Committed to the Harvard Crimson – 23 Saves)
- Sweden 5 United States 2 (Fabian Lysell (Lulea – Vancouver Giants Import Draft Pick – Two Goals)