[UPDATE: COVID-19 forces IIHF to cancel 2022 World Junior Championship]
EDMONTON, Alberta — Connor Bedard became the youngest player to score four goals in a world junior hockey championship game, leading Canada to an 11-2 win over Austria on Tuesday night.
The 16-year-old joined Mario Lemieux (1983), Simon Gagne (1999), Brayden Schenn (2010), Taylor Raddysh (2016) and Maxime Comtois (2018) in the Canadian junior men’s record books for the most goals scored in a game.
Bedard was the seventh 16-year-old named to the national men’s junior team in its 45-year history, joining players such as Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby. Gretzky’s best single-game scoring performance at the world juniors was a three-goal game against Czechoslovakia in 1977.
Mason McTavish scored twice and Cole Perfetti had a goal and two assists for Canada (2-0). Kent Johnson, Lukas Cormier, Logan Stankoven and Mavrik Bourque also scored for the Canadians.
Eliot Desnoyers and Will Cuylle each assisted on three Bedard goals. Brett Brochu stopped 20 of 22 shots for the win in his first start of the tournament.
[MORE: U.S. forfeits World Junior Championship game due to mandated quarantine]
Lukas Necesany and Mathias Bohm scored for Austria (0-2) with beleaguered starter Leon Sommer making 53 saves.
Canada plays its second Pool A game in as many days Wednesday against Germany and concludes the preliminary round on Dec. 31 against Finland.
The Canada-Austria game was the only one played Tuesday because of COVID-19 issues. Two American players testing positive forced the U.S. to forfeit a Pool B game to Switzerland with the entire team in mandatory quarantine.
The Swiss were awarded a 1-0 win under International Ice Hockey Federation rules. The IIHF has yet to determine if the U.S. can play Wednesday’s Pool B game against Sweden.
The quarterfinals are Sunday, followed by the Jan. 4 semifinals and Jan. 5 medal games.