Canada vs. Slovakia final score, results: Connor Bedard's heroics send defending World Juniors champs to semifinals

Canada vs. Slovakia final score, results: Connor Bedard's heroics send defending World Juniors champs to semifinals

Connor Bedard has a flare for the dramatic. 

On the same night that the 2023 draft sensation set four separate Canadian World Juniors records and a U18 record, Bedard sent Canada to the semifinals of the 2023 tournament with an overtime winner vs. Slovakia. 

After the Slovaks battled back from a couple of two-goal deficits to force the extra time, the 17-year-old danced through the entire Slovak defense and tucked the puck around goaltender Adam Gajan to send the Halifax crowd into jubilation. 

MORE: Watch the 2023 World Juniors live with fuboTV (free trial, U.S. only)

Bedard finished the game with two goals and an assist. His goal in the first period to open the scoring made him the Canadian World Juniors all-time leader in points and goals, as well as breaking the Canadian record for most points at a single tournament

His assist on Dylan Guenther’s second-period goal pulled him into first all-time in World Juniors assists by a Canadian. He also passed Jaromir Jagr’s mark for the most points by an under-18 player at the tournament. 

Gajan was sensational in net for Slovakia. The netminder faced 57 shots on Monday night, turning aside 53 of those. On the other side, Thomas Milic grabbed the win for the Canadians, stopping 24 shots. 

While the Slovaks’ 2023 World Juniors come to a close, Canada advances to the semifinals where it will face its bitter rivals — the United States. That game is set for Wednesday, Jan. 4. 

MORE: Team Canada 2023 World Juniors roster, results

The Sporting News provided live updates and highlights from the Canada-Slovakia quarterfinal matchup at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Canada vs. Slovakia score


Canada vs. Slovakia live updates, highlights from 2023 World Juniors

(All times Eastern.)

Final: Canada 4, Slovakia 3 (OT)

9:28 p.m. — GOAL! Bedard wins it for Canada. He dangles through the entire Slovak defense and puts a backhand by Gajan. What an effort, what a game and Canada advances to the semifinals. 

9:25 p.m. — Milic just saved the day for Canada. Mesar fired a shot on net, stopped by MIlic’s pad, but Petrovsky had a clean look at the rebound, but Milic snagged it out of the air. We’re approaching the halfway point in OT. 

9:23 p.m. — My word, what a pad save by Gajan. Bedard pulled the puck through the slot and got a backhand shot off that stopped and the rebound went right to Zellweger. The Canadian defenseman could not get enough air on the shot and it stayed out. 

9:20 p.m. — Wright nearly had the game-winner as he had the puck at the side of the net, cut the crease and rang the crossbar. It went off Gajan’s pad, off the bar and stayed out. We’re back to even strength, so 3 on 3 play. 

9:16 p.m. — It is a 10-minute, sudden-death overtime for the quarterfinals. It is 3 on 3, but with Canada on the power play to begin the overtime frame, it will start 4 on 3 for 1:26. 

End of the third period

9:15 p.m. — We’re heading to overtime here tied 3-3. The Canadian bench and crowd are furious as Repcik appeared to lay on the puck right after the faceoff and might have put his hand over the puck. Either way, he stayed down on the ice with the puck under him and killed a good amount of time. 

9:13 p.m. — Nemec is assessed a minor for cross-checking. It didn’t look like he got Bedard in the head, so the right call. But Canada has a power play here with 34 seconds left. 

9:11 p.m. — It has been all Canada in the final minutes and after an extended sequence in the Slovakia zone, Simon Nemec cross-checked Bedard high near the back of the head. The officials are going to review this potentially for a five-minute major. There are only 34 seconds left in regulation. 

9:05 p.m. — Bedard had the puck on the back door with Gajan down and out, but his shot was deflected by Pavol Funtek’s stick and it stayed out. He was looking at a wide open net. 

8:58 p.m. — The Canadians are getting killed in the faceoff dot. No one is winning draws consistently right now for Canada. 

8:52 p.m. — GOAL! Slovakia ties the game, as Libor Nemec pots home his second of the night. Another faceoff win in the offensive zone by Slovakia resulted in the goal. Both Canadian defenders were caught chasing Filip Mesar down low and Mesar found a wide open Nemec at the top of the crease. 3-3 with 8:35 left in the period. 

8:49 p.m. — Slovakia answered with a great opportunity of its own, but the loss puck in the crease did not go. There were multiple bodies in the crease and a couple of shots from the side of the net by Adam Sykora, but the puck stayed out. 

8:46 p.m. — Caeden Bankier took a stretch pass and went down on a 2 on 1, but his shot rang off the post. Another solid chance for the Canadians to extend their lead, but they could not get it to go. 

8:44 p.m. — Another chance for Dean to extend the lead but he put the puck right through the crease and out the other side. He won a foot race to a clearing attempt, deked around Gajan but his shot went parallel to the goal line. The third line of Dean, Gaucher and Ostapchuk has been extremely effective in the third for Canada. 

8:43 p.m. — A couple of turnovers by Canada trying to break out of its zone resulted in extended zone time for the Slovaks, but they cannot take advantage of it. 

8:40 p.m. — Both Nathan Gaucher and Zack Dean had chances to whack the puck in after a shot rang the post, but the two whiffed on their attempts. 

8:36 p.m. — Puck is down for the third. 

End of the second period: USA 3, Slovakia 2

8:18 p.m. — Canada and Slovakia exchanged goals in the second to keep it a one-goal game after two periods. Despite Canada outshooting Slovakia 17-5 in the period, the Slovaks stuck around and have kept it close. It is shaping up for a dramatic third period. 

8:16 p.m. — Canada kills off the Clarke minor. It took Slovakia almost 90 seconds to finally get set up with its power play. 

8:13 p.m. — Brandt Clarke’s helmet came off from a hit by Baco, but he didn’t go straight to the bench and is called for illegal equipment. Slovakia is heading to the PP. Simon Nemec had a breakaway coming out of the box on the delayed penalty, but Milic blockered the shot away.

8:12 p.m. — That was not the most impressive power play by Canada. After a solid first minute that featured an excellent chance for Wright in the slot that he airmailed, the last minute was spent entirely in Canada’s own zone. 

8:09 p.m. — Another delay of game penalty is handed to Slovakia. This time, it’s Simon Nemec that will sit. Canada scored on its last man advantage, which came off the Natny delay of game. 

8:06 p.m. — GOAL! Again the Slovaks cut the lead back to one. After a Bedard turnover, Repcik goes all the way around the net from the rush and eventually finds Robert Baco at the backdoor for the goal. 3-2 Canada leads with 6:42 remaining. 

7:58 p.m. — GOAL! Zack Ostapchuk takes it himself on a 3 on 1 and beats Gajan by the blocker to extend Canada’s lead back to two. A perfectly placed shot by Ostapchuk, who missed a majority of the Sweden game after his five-minute major in the first. 3-1 Canada with 11 minutes to go in the frame. 

7:55 p.m. — They have changed Simon Nemec’s goal to Libor Nemec (no relation). So the shot from the point did get a piece of the forward in front of the net. 

7:52 p.m. — GOAL! Slovakia wastes no time on the man advantage as a shot by Simon Nemec right off the first faceoff gets deflected and beats Milic. I’m not sure if it hit Libor Nemec or Ethan Del Mastro in front, but the puck absolutely changed direction. The Canada lead is cut down to 2-1 with 13 minutes left in the second. 

7:51 p.m. — Servac Petrovsky gets tripped by Guenther and crashes into Milic, and Slovakia goes to the power play. It looked like Guenther just got enough to clip Petrovsky and bring him down. 

7:45 p.m. — GOAL! Third time is the charm, as Guenther scores on Canada’s third power play of the game to extend the lead. Guenther got just enough on a one-timer on the back door to sneak through five-hole on Gajan. Five goals for the Coyotes winger, and all five have been on the power play. 2-0 Canada five minutes into the second. 

7:42 p.m. — After a conversation, the officials determined that David Natny’s clearing attempt goes directly out of play and he is sitting for delay of game. Canada is going to its third power play, which has not come through yet. 

7:39 p.m. — Shane Wright got a chance off a rebound from an Othmann shot, but again, Gajan answered the call. The Slovak goalie has been strong all tournament and has done his part so far in this quarterfinal. 

7:35 p.m. — Second period from Halifax has begun. 

End of the first period: Canada 1, Slovakia 0

7:18 p.m. — Bedard’s goal is the only one of the period, giving Canada a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. It’s clear Slovakia wants to play physically and get Canada away from its skill game. Both goalies have been solid to start. 

7:14 p.m. — Nothing going for Canada on the power play. Canada isn’t generating the chances it has previously in this tournament on the man advantage. 

7:12 p.m. — A massive save by Milic on Peter Repcik, who got a shorthanded breakaway. Repcik tried to go five-hole, but Milic turned him away. 

7:09 p.m. — Canada goes back to the power play with Libor Nemec sitting for slashing. Othmann nearly scored on the delayed penalty, but the cross-ice feed from Bedard rolled off his stick. Otherwise he was wide open on the backdoor. 

7:06 p.m. — For Slovakia to pull off the upset, Gajan was going to need to be stellar. He has been so far here in the first, already seeing 12 shots on goal with more six minutes left in the opening frame. 

6:58 p.m. — The Slovaks killed off the Misiak penalty. The officials have gone over to both benches multiple times to warn the coaches after scrums after the whistle. There have already been three or four to start this game. 

6:54 p.m. — Slovakia is getting chippy. After a cross-check on Hinds goes uncalled, the next shift, Martin Misiak cross-checks a Canadian forward. The officials give Bedard and Misiak matching minors, but an extra penalty to Misiak gives Canada a power play. 

6:50 p.m. — The goal was Bedard’s 15th career World Juniors goals and 32nd World Juniors point, pulling him into first place in both categories. 

6:48 p.m. — GOAL! Who but Connor Bedard. A turnover by Slovakia allows the puck to get back down low to Bedard all by himself and he makes no mistake of it. 1-0 Canada just over six minutes into the game. 

6:46 p.m. — A great look for Dylan Guenther as Brennan Othmann found him on the backdoor cutting to the net, but Guenther’s shot rolls wide. He didn’t get everything on that attempt as he had a Slovak defender on his back. 

6:43 p.m. — Milic elected not to come out and play a rolling puck and it allowed Dalibor Dvorsky to whack at the puck, but the Canadian goalie turned it away. He’s been busy, as Slovakia has the five shots on goal, while Canada has not challenged Gajan yet. 

6:39 p.m. — Puck is down the Canada-Slovakia quarterfinal is a go. 


6:30 p.m. — Opposing Milic in net is Adam Gajan for Slovakia, who has been really strong for the Slovaks at this tournament so far. 

6:08 p.m. — First look at Owen Beck with Canada, who was added to the roster after the injury to Colton Dach. Not surprisingly, he is listed as the extra forward tonight. 

6 p.m. — As expected, Thomas Milic mans the net tonight for Canada. He was fantastic in the win over Sweden on Saturday night. 

5 p.m. — With Czechia and Sweden winning their respective quarterfinals, it sets up a potential Canada-USA semifinal if both clubs win. If Slovakia pulls off the upset, then it will play Czechia. 

Canada vs. Slovakia start time

  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. AST)

The puck drops at 6:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local time) from the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S., the home of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads. 

MORE: Team Canada 2023 World Juniors roster, results

This is the final quarterfinal game at the World Juniors. 

What channel is Canada vs. Slovakia on today?

  • Canada: TSN 1/4/5
  • United States: NHL Network

TSN has all the World Juniors action in Canada. In the United States, viewers can find the games on NHL Network.

Gord Miller and Mike Johnson will be on the call. James Duthie, Bob McKenzie and Cheryl Pounder will provide analysis during intermissions.

How to live stream World Juniors hockey games

Fans in Canada can stream all World Juniors games at or the TSN app. U.S. fans can stream the tournament on fuboTV (which offers a free trial), or the NHL app.

Canada vs. Slovakia odds

  • Canada: -3.5 (-154)
  • Slovakia: +3.5 (+110)
  • O/U: 7.5

Canada is a 3.5-goal favorite on the puck line for the contest against Slovakia at the World Juniors, according to Sports Interaction

Canada World Juniors schedule 2023

(All times Eastern)

Date Opponent Result Time (ET)TV Info
Dec. 26CzechiaL, 5-26:30 p.m. TSN, NHLN
Dec. 28GermanyW, 11-26:30 p.m. TSN, NHLN
Dec. 29AustriaW, 11-06:30 p.m. TSN, NHLN
Dec. 31SwedenW, 5-16:30 p.m.TSN, NHLN
Jan. 2Slovakia (Quarterfinals)6:30 p.m.TSN, NHLN
Jan. 4TBD (Semifinals)TBD TSN, NHLN
Jan. 5TBD (Gold-medal game)TBD TSN, NHLN