Bedard scores twice as Canada opens with win


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PRAGUE — Connor Bedard scored twice as Canada opened its title defense at the ice hockey world championship with a 4-2 win over newcomer Britain on Saturday.

Bedard, coming off a great rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks, scored twice in a four-minute span of the second period to put the Group A game in Prague out of reach.

Canada had to rally from a goal down despite outshooting Britain 12-3 in the opening period and 34-15 overall.

Liam Kirk put Britain 1-0 ahead on a power play eight minutes into the game, but the lead lasted just 30 seconds as Michael Bunting scored from the point to tie it at 1.

Brandon Hagel put the defending champions ahead 5:45 into the second period with a shot into the roof of the net.

Then it was Bedard’s turn.

Bedard, 18, beat goaltender Jackson Whistle (30 saves) midway through the frame for his first goal at the senior worlds. He made it 4-1 after Nick Paul fed him with a perfect pass.

Ben O’Connor scored in the third period for Britain.

In Group B in the city of Ostrava, Kazakhstan defeated France 3-1 in their opening game.

In another Group B match, last year’s bronze medalist Latvia had to dig deep to overcome another newcomer in the top division, Poland, 5-4 in overtime. Latvia captain Kaspars Daugavins scored the winner with 1:31 remaining.

In Group A, Denmark cruised past Austria 5-1.

The United States hopes to recover from an opening 5-2 loss to Sweden in a Group B game against Germany later Saturday, while the Czech Republic meets Norway in Group A.

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