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Connor Bedard scores a brace in his hockey debut to lead Canada past Great Britain

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Connor Bedard scored twice in his men’s hockey debut to help Canada double up on newcomer Great Britain 4-2 on Sunday in Prague, Czech Republic.

The 18-year-old Bedard, coming off an impressive junior season with the Chicago Blackhawks, scored twice within four minutes of the second period to put the Group A match in Prague out of reach.

Canada had to come back from a goal down despite outscoring Britain 12-3 in the first period and 34-15 overall.

Liam Kirk put Britain 1-0 ahead eight minutes into the game, but the lead lasted just 30 seconds as Michael Ponting slotted home from the point to level the score at 1-1.

Watch Connor Bedard score twice in his long-awaited World Series debut:

Connor Bedard leads Canada to victory in Prague

Connor Bedard scored twice as Canada beat Great Britain 4-2 in the opening pool play at the 2024 World Hockey Championships in Prague.

Brandon Hagel put the defending champions ahead at 5:45 in the second period with a shot high into the roof of the net.

Then it was Bedard’s turn.

The teenager found the back of the net midway through the frame to score his first goal in a major world championship. He made it 4-1 after Nick Ball played him a perfect pass.

Ben O’Connor scored in the third period for Britain.

Canadian goalkeeper Joel Hoover made 13 saves, while Great Britain’s Jackson Whistle made 30 saves.

“It’s nice to score, but it’s not something I’m thinking about right now,” 18-year-old Bedard said. “It was a good first match, but we want to keep improving and be on a consistent trend throughout the tournament, and we look forward to continuing to play games here.”

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Canada had to come back from a goal down despite outscoring Britain 12-3 in the first period and 34-15 overall.

Bedard scored two goals in the span of four minutes in the second half to put the game out of reach. The North Vancouver native, who led all rookies with 61 points in his first NHL season with Chicago, won the Under-18 World Championship in 2021 and the 2022 and 2023 World Junior Championships with Canada.

“He’s a great player,” Canada captain Colton Parayko said of Bedard. “He works hard off the ice, he’s a true professional. It’s exciting to have a player like this on our team and we look forward to seeing him develop as the tournament continues.”

Canada won the tournament for the 28th time in 2023, after defeating Germany 5-2 in the final.

“There are the best in the world and we skated with them tonight,” O’Connor said of the Canadiens. “We’ve taken it to them at times, which is great. The last time we played Canada, I think it was 8-0, so we’ve come a long way.”

Canada will face Denmark next Sunday, and will also play Austria, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and the host Czech Republic in the preliminary round.

The tournament concludes with the medal matches on May 26.

The United States hopes to recover from the loss

The Czech hostess was scheduled to meet Norway later in Group A.

In the second group in the city of Ostrava, Kazakhstan beat France 3-1 in the opening match.

Another newcomer to the top flight, Poland, led last year’s bronze medalist Latvia to extra time before losing 5-4. Latvian captain and former Ottawa Senator Kaspars Daugavins scored twice, including the winning goal and an assist.

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The United States will hope to bounce back from its opening 5-2 loss to Sweden in its Group B match against Germany later Saturday.

Canada List:

  • Michael Bunting (Scarborough, Ontario), forward
  • Brandon Tanev (Toronto) Forward
  • Dylan Guenther (Edmonton) forward
  • Jack McBain (Toronto), striker
  • Dawson Mercer (Bay Roberts, New Delhi), striker
  • Jared McCann (London, Ontario), forward
  • Nick Ball (Mississauga, Ontario), forward
  • Dylan Cousins ​​(Whitehorse, Yukon) – striker
  • Brandon Hagel (Morinville, Alta.), forward
  • Ridley Gregg (Lethbridge, Alta.), forward
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois (Saint-Agathe-de-Monts, Que.), striker
  • Andrew Mangiapane (Bolton, Ontario) – striker
  • John Tavares (Oakville, Ontario), forward
  • Connor Bedard (North Vancouver, British Columbia), forward
  • Olin Zellweger (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.), defenseman
  • Bowen Byram (Cranbrook, BC), defenseman
  • Kayden Guehle (Sherwood Park, Alta.), defenseman
  • Jimmy Oleksiak (Toronto), defenseman
  • Owen Power (Mississauga, Ontario), defenseman
  • Colton Parayko (St. Albert, Alta.), defenseman
  • Damon Severson (Millville, Sask.), defenseman
  • Joel Hoover (Winnipeg), goalkeeper
  • Niko Doss (Burlington, Ontario), goalkeeper
  • Jordan Binnington (Richmond Hill, Ontario), goalkeeper

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