Wonderkid Bedard hailed by team-mates as Team Canada clinch gold in overtime

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Dylan Guenther netted the winning goal in overtime
Dylan Guenther netted the winning goal in overtime

Team Canada suffered a late scare against the Czech Republic, but retained their World Junior Championship crown after Dylan Guenther scored the winner in overtime.

Guenther scored twice and assisted in a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic, with captain Shane Wright scoring the other. Team Canada were comfortable leaders until the third period, when a quickfire double from Czech Republic's Jiri Kulich and Jakub Kos levelled the scores.

But Canada fought back in overtime to secure their second-straight gold medal, and write their name into the history books. One man that's been breaking records for fun this tournament is 17-year-old Connor Bedard, and his team-mates couldn't stop talking about him during the celebrations.

Bedard was named tournament MVP following a fantastic showing in Halifax, after he recorded 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in just seven games. It became a new Canadian record for points scored in a single tournament, surpassing the previous best of 18 which was set by both Dale McCourt and Braden Schenn.

His 14 assists was also a Canadian record in a single tournament, and his total tally of 16 goals in World Junior Championships surpassed Jordan Eberle's previous best of 14. Bedard was almost breaking a record every game in the 2023 edition, and it's no coincidence he's tipped to be the first pick in the next NHL draft.

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However, the strength of Team Canada showed in the final as Bedard was uncharacteristically quiet, proving it's not just him that's destined for big things. The whole team shared the winning moment, although Bedard remained the topic of conversation amongst the group.

Wonderkid Bedard hailed by team-mates as Team Canada clinch gold in overtimeBedard is expected to become the no.1 draft pick

The roster are clearly proud of the 17-year-old talent currently playing for Regina Pats, starting with the captain who dismissed claims he didn't have the best of games in the final. "Still by far the MVP of the tournament," Wright said. "By far the best player in the tournament."

Wright even claimed that Bedard was 'rubbing off on him', as he scored a sublime solo goal against Czech Republic. "Don't really know what happened there," Wright joked when analysing his goal.

"Seems like (Bedard's) rubbing off on me. More of a play he'd pull off." And even game-winner Guenther couldn't help but respect Bedard when being interviewed after the game. "A winner," Guenther said.

Wonderkid Bedard hailed by team-mates as Team Canada clinch gold in overtimeTeam Canada defended their crown

"He's willing to do whatever it takes to win. A tremendous tournament, a historic tournament. A treat getting to play him with and the opportunity to watch him every day."

Bedard was clearly grateful for the feedback, and called the group his 'brothers' as he tipped everyone to succeed in life together. "My brothers," he said. "We're gonna have this together.

"We're gonna cherish that unbelievable accomplishment years down the road. We're gonna look back and remember every single guy."

Joseph McBride

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