EDMONTON | No matter the status, it seems there are no untouchables in the Hockey Canada locker room and Connor Bedard learned that the hard way Monday night against Finland.
After scoring a superb first-period goal – a major league shot that made it 3-0 for Canada – the young prodigy was benched in the last two periods and was only used for 3 min 58 s in the last 40 minutes of play.
In third, he n only performed once, lasting 30 seconds.
Certainly, the indiscipline of the Canadians in the third period can explain the drop in the time of use of Bedard, who does not evolve in penalty kill. Team Canada Junior spent almost half of the engagement shorthanded, notably due to the five-minute major penalty imposed on Will Cuylle for a knee injury.
But that doesn't explain everything, said head coach Dave Cameron, who gave the same treatment to the other first-line winger, Brennan Othmann, who was only used for 3 minutes. 8s in the last two periods.
“THEY HAVE TO BE BETTER”
“I use the players who play the best and, without saying that they have been bad, other players have raised their level of play. They have to be better on 200 feet. If we want to be successful as a team, they have to be able to play well in all three areas. They've been good so far in the tournament and I think they'll bounce back,” the pilot told RDS after the game.
On a strictly offensive level, we have to admit that Bedard delivers the goods, with four goals and three assists for seven points in four games.
“We have to keep growing. It's like in baseball, you can't just hit home runsor have you taken out on strikes, imagined assistant coach Louis Robitaille. It's about playing the right way. Connor is an extremely intelligent player, and he realized by watching certain sequences that if you play for gold and the score is 1 to 1, you have to be better than that, “added Robitaille, still at RDS. /p>
In fact, if RDS is quoted in this text, it is because Hockey Canada did not make anyone available to the media on Tuesday, except for the official broadcasters of the competition.
< p>How transparency is obviously a concept with variable geometry, at Hockey Canada.
ANOTHER ONE-WAY MATCH?
In short, the quarter-final match against Switzerland was just another unequal duel. However, apart from the match against the United States, which they lost 7 to 1, the Helvetii have never been downgraded in the tournament.
They have won only one game, against the Germans, but their two other losses were suffered by a score of 3 to 2, including one against the Swedes.
And even against the Americans, it was tied 1-1 halfway through when the United States took control, orchestrating an unanswered six-goal push.
“Let it be Switzerland, the United States or Sweden, we want to play the same way, mentioned William Dufour on Monday evening. We are preparing as if it were our most important game of the year. After all, there is no tomorrow. »
Swiss comfortable in the role of underdogs
EDMONTON | No need to be a hockey expert to know that the Swiss will be clearly neglected for Wednesday's game against Canada. And that suits Swiss coach Marco Bayer perfectly.
“I think the underdog role is perfect for our team. We saw it yesterday against Austria, we had to win and the pressure was very high on our players. Now we are on the opposing side and that's perfect. »
Because you have to admit, when the Swiss haven't been the favorites in this tournament so far, they've given their opponents a hard time, especially the USA and Sweden (see other text).
“We will have to take advantage of the moment. We showed against the United States in the first 30 minutes of play, as well as against Sweden, that we can play against the big teams. On the other hand, to have a chance, everyone must be at their best,” added the pilot.
Swiss defender Noah Delémont is under no illusions. Certainly, the Swiss can stand up to Canada, but it will not be without pain.
“It will hurt. We're not going to hide it, I think we're going to spend a lot of time in the defensive zone and we're going to have to pay the price, play fairly fair and capitalize on our chances. There is always a chance in hockey. At the end, there are 60 minutes to play and we'll see,” he said candidly on Tuesday.
A bit like his coach, the 19-year-old fullback believes that the whole pressure is on Canada.
“We have nothing to lose. If I ask you who's going to win on Wednesday, you're all going to say Canada with a fairly wide score. We have nothing to lose. We have enough confidence in our qualities. We had a good game against the Swedes and a good 30 minutes against the Americans. We will have to start strong because if they take the lead after five or 10 minutes, it will be complicated. This is where the game is going to be played to really see if there will be a game or if they come off early on.