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WORLD JUNIOR NOTES: Expectations for Conor Bedard are even higher this time around

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16-year-old Conor Bedard sparked a bit of curiosity when he started the shortened World Junior Championships last December as Canada’s 13th forward. But after scoring his four goals in just his second game, he never looked back.

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Eight months later, he is Canada’s front-line right winger and is expected to be a gold-medal powerhouse.

“It’s been months since that tournament, but I’m getting older and stronger,” said the 17-year-old, who stands 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 181 pounds. “But I think the goal remains the same.

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“[Mason]McTavish and[Josh]Roy are in contact now, and it’s been pretty good. And that’s definitely cool to me. But that’s the first line, the second line. , Line 13, etc. And the goal is always to win the gold medal, not personal.”

But there’s certainly more pressure on his young shoulders this time around. With nine of his top Canadian players choosing not to participate, and his trajectory as the first overall consensus pick in the 2023 draft, Canada expects him to live up to the hype. I’m here.

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It might be difficult given the hype, but Bedard isn’t caught up in any of it. He lets his game speak for itself.

“I’m not really sure what people expect. But I think when you look at the lineup or something, you have a little more idea of ​​what my performance is going to be. I’ve never thought about it, so I’m going to try to do everything I can.”

sweden is waiting

Team Sweden opened the tournament with a 3-2 win over Switzerland on Wednesday, building a 3-0 lead in 48 minutes and fending off a hard-fought comeback attempt in front of 150 fans at Rogers Place.

The Swedes were not satisfied with their performance.

“We can’t be soft,” Swedish defenseman Simon Edvinson said. “They are hungry and want to beat us. We are a big country here. We want to beat it. We have a little work to do. We need to have the energy and start building from this game.”

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After 36 minutes scoreless, Sweden scored three goals at 3:41 and two goals in 36 seconds to start the third period. But the Swiss Army landed some quick strikes of their own, with 8:47 and he scored at 9:47 to get him closer to 3-2, with 6:58 left and he had five minutes of power play. but that’s as far as they got.

“We have to start the third period better. These two goals are not possible,” said Attilio Biasca, who opened the scoring for Switzerland. “We came back with two goals, but we have to do better with five minutes of power play.

sad news from sweden

The Swede was playing with a heavy heart after learning that Toronto Maple Leafs defender Borje Salming, one of the best players his country has ever produced, was diagnosed with ALS.

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The 71-year-old Hall of Famer released the news on Wednesday and it reached Sweden’s dressing rooms instantly.

“These players are quite young, but we, the coaches and staff, have talked about it this morning,” said Swedish coach Thomas Monten.

“He’s one of the greatest players ever. If you go to Toronto and get in a cab and say you’re Swedish, you know the whole story. I just hope it works.”

A player born long after Salming retired still understands his greatness on the Swedish hockey team.

“He’s a legend,” said defenseman Edvinson. “He’s a legend everywhere. He just heard the news. He’s a fighter. Behind him is the whole of Sweden.”

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“He’s a great player and one of the best Swedish players ever,” added Winnipeg Jets draft pick Daniel Torgerson. ‘A great career’

Slovakia on the move

It was a seismic change for Slovakia on the world stage, with the Slovak players coming first and second in the final draft, with Simon Nemek going second overall to New Jersey.

Neither player returned to Edmonton for the summer tournament, but they are already heroes in their own country.

Slovak goalkeeper Simon Ratkoczy said: “I think it’s amazing. “I am proud of our country and the people who are making progress for Hockey Slovakia. We hope it continues and hopefully we can add one more step to it.”

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“This is the first big step for us,” added center Jakub Demek. “Like the bronze medal at the Olympics was a big step forward. Our hockey is on the upswing. .”

cage match

Logan Stancoven is rocking the full cage this week after catching a puck in his face at practice a few days ago.

“Luckily I didn’t lose a tooth,” said the Canadian forward. “I didn’t usually wear a mouthguard because I always have to put it on and take it off.

“It was just an unfortunate accident. Wrong place, wrong time.

Twitter.com/rob_tychkowski

rtychkowski@postmedia.com

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WORLD JUNIOR NOTES: Expectations for Conor Bedard are even higher this time around

Source link WORLD JUNIOR NOTES: Expectations for Conor Bedard are even higher this time around

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