Lightning forward prospect Carter Ashton factored into the scoring in Team Canada’s rout of the Czech Republic Wednesday, as the right wing helped his squad cruise to a 7-2 victory during Day 3 at the World Junior Championships in Buffalo, New York.
Tampa Bay’s first round draft pick, 29th overall in 2009, contributed an assist on Canada’s fourth goal of the evening and the lone tally by captain Ryan Ellis. Fellow teammate and Lightning prospect Brett Connolly, the Bolts’ first selection at the 2010 Draft with the third overall pick, was held off the score sheet and failed to register a shot, but was on the ice for one of his team’s goals, as he finished the contest with a plus-1 rating.
The Czechs came out strong and surprised Canada by taking an early lead on the game’s opening goal by Antonin Honejsek just 49 seconds into the contest. Canada built confidence quickly, though, and by the midway mark was clearly in control. The team got two late power-play goals to go ahead before the end of the period to erase its early deficit.
By the end of the second period Canada had a commanding 5-1 lead, and prior to the game’s final goal by the Czech Republic’s Jakub Jerabek to cap the scoring, the Canadians had scored seven unanswered goals, including four on the power play, one shorthanded and two at even strength.
Also in action on Tuesday night were Lightning prospects Adam Janosik and Richard Panik, who suited up for Team Slovakia in a 6-1 loss to the United States. The pair was held without points, but each registered two shots apiece, with Janosik also earning a plus-1 rating.
Two opening goals by Kyle Palmieri put the Americans out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period before the United States went on to add four more in the middle frame. Slovakia’s Tomas Jurko cut the deficit to 4-1, but the damage had already been done before enduring a scoreless third period.
Janosik, Panik and Team Slovakia is back in action Thursday against Switzerland, while Ashton, Connolly and the Canadian squad return to the ice a bit sooner, as they take on Norway on Wednesday to complete the team’s first back-to-back set of the tournament.