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Bedard finishes one goal shy of Canadian record at historic WJC

Connor Bedard Canada Connor Bedard - Images on Ice

Connor Bedard finished his historic World Junior Championship run one goal shy of the Canadian record for most goals in a single tournament after going pointless in Canada’s 3-2 gold-medal overtime victory over Czechia on Thursday.

Bedard finished with nine goals and 14 assists, the fourth-most points ever recorded at a World Junior Championship. Following the game, Bedard chose to shift focus to the team's accomplishment and away from any individual accolades.

“No one’s going to remember that from our group in 20 years. We’re going to look at our gold medal," said Bedard. "We’re not going to look at stats or anything. We’re going to appreciate what we did together. That’s what matters."

The record of 10 goals is held by John Anderson and Dale McCourt, who both set the mark in1993 in Galve, Sweden. 

It’s the first time in seven games at the 2023 World Juniors that Bedard has failed to record a point and only the second time that the 17-year-old failed to score a goal. 

Bedard entered Thursday’s game in Halifax with 23 points in six games, needing two points to pass Sweden's Markus Naslund and Finland’s Raimo Helminen for the second-most points at a single world junior tournament. Naslund’s teammate at the 1993 world juniors, Peter Forsberg, holds the all-time record with 31 points in seven games.

Naslund also holds the record for most goals at a single world juniors with 13 in the 1993 tournament. Bedard scored six goals in Canada’s first three games and the torrid scoring put him in range of Naslund’s record. However, he fell off the pace later in the tournament, scoring just three times over his next four games. 

The Regina Pats’ forward has re-written Canada’s World Junior Championship record book at this year’s tournament, passing Jordan Eberle for most goals (14) in a world junior career and Eric Lindros for most points (31) at the world juniors. Bedard also set a new record for most points (23) and assists (14) by a Canadian at a single world junior tournament. 

He also passed Jaromir Jagr for the most points by a player aged 18 years or younger at the U-20 tourney.

"It's obviously awesome," Bedard said Wednesday of returning to the final. "But we didn't come here to make it to the finals.

"We came here to win the gold."

The North Vancouver, B.C., native is the projected first-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.