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Ashton, Connolly Held Off Scoresheet as Canada Wins WJC Opener

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
Forwards Brett Connolly #28 and Casey Cizikas #11 of Canada celebrates their 6-3 victory with goalie Olivier Roy #31 during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between Canada and Russia on December 26, 2010 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Lightning prospects Carter Ashton and Brett Connolly were held off the scoresheet for Team Canada today in the first day of action at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships, being held in Buffalo, New York.  Despite not getting any statistical contributions from the pair of Tampa Bay youngsters, Canada was able to make a statement, defeating Russia, 6-3, at HSBC Arena.

The game was a see-saw battle between the two power house nations through 40 minutes before Canada took control in the third period with three unanswered goals. 

Russia opened the scoring just under four minutes into the game but Canada evened the score with just more than two minutes remaining in the opening 20 minutes. 

The teams exchanged goals again in the second period with Canada grabbing their first lead of the game just past the half-way point of the period on a goal by Ryan Ellis.  Russia bounced back just over a minute later to even the score but Canada regained the lead less than four minutes later.  Russia capped the second period scoring just before the 17:00-mark.  In all the teams scored four goals in a span of 6:17 in the period.

Canada took over in the third period on a pair of power play goals by Brayden Schenn and Ryan Johansen as well as an even-strength goal by Curtis Hamilton.

The Lightning's other two participants, Richard Panik and Adam Janosik of Slovakia, get their tournament started Monday at 7 p.m. when they take on Germany, who lost today to the Swiss, 4-3.

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