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HALIFAX, N.S. – Canada's National Junior Team advanced to the semifinals at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship in dramatic fashion, beating Slovakia 4-3 in overtime on Monday night.
- Connor Bedard (North Vancouver, B.C./Regina, WHL) scored the game-winner on a solo effort 5:17 into overtime.
- Bedard also scored the opening goal in the first period and added an assist, breaking four Canadian records – most career goals at the World Juniors (16), most career points at the World Juniors (34), most points in single World Juniors (21) and most assists in a single World Juniors (13).
- Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Alta./Arizona, NHL) and Zack Ostapchuk (St. Albert, Alta./Vancouver, WHL) rounded out the scoring.
- Logan Stankoven (Kamloops, B.C./Kamloops, WHL), Brennan Othmann (Pickering, Ont./Peterborough, OHL), Zach Dean (Mount Pearl, N.L./Gatineau, QMJHL) and Nathan Gaucher (Richelieu, Que./Québec, QMJHL) chipped in with one assist apiece.
- Thomas Milic (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL) made 24 saves.
- Canada outshot Slovakia 57-27.
Canada vs. United States (semifinal) – Wednesday, Jan. 4 (7:30 p.m. AT/6:30 p.m. ET)
TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, are providing extensive coverage of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, broadcasting all 31 tournament games. TSN Radio is also providing comprehensive tournament coverage.
“Obviously the [Bedard] goal was memorable, but Thomas Milic made some big saves for us. The way Connor scored and how he played tonight was huge, but we do not get to that moment without Thomas’ performance. He was lights out and made some key saves in overtime and in the third period. We outshot [Slovakia], but they had a lot of high-quality chances that we needed [Milic] to step up for, and he was dynamite for us tonight.”
- Head coach Dennis Williams (Stratford, Ont./Everett, WHL) on the play of Milic
“I saw [the Slovak defender] make a move and there was a lane to the net, so I tried to make my move using my instinct and luckily it went in. That moment [in overtime] was special for all of us. It was pretty cool to score that goal, but it was the quarterfinals and we still have a lot of hockey left. I am happy about the win, and like I said in intermission I was not really thinking about [the records]. Obviously it matters, but for me it is about winning, and that is what we are here to do.”
- Bedard on his overtime winner and breaking Canadian records
“[Three-on-three overtime] is exciting and not something I shy away from. It is an opportunity to give your team a win, and if I am called upon to go out there and do a job then I am excited for it. I try to play opportunistic and try to help finish the game off. The game was closer than we would have liked, but [Slovakia] is a good team and they were better than the Slovak team we saw in pre-competition. We have to give them credit because they battled hard, but we stuck with it and found a way to pull off the win.”
- Stankoven on three-on-three overtime and the challenges of playing Slovakia
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