A trio of Lightning prospects cashed in on their biggest day yet at the World Junior Championships on Thursday, leading their respective sides to blowout victories.
Brett Connolly notched a goal and an assist in Canada’s 10-2 rout of Denmark, while Nikita Kucherov recorded three assists and teammate Nikita Nesterov had a goal and three points to help Russia coast to a 14-0 victory over Latvia.
Canada got off to a fast start by getting four goals in the first period, including one from Connolly, to take a commanding lead into the second. Connolly then assisted on his club’s fifth goal before Mark Stone and Freddie Hamilton increased the advantage to seven.
The Danes finally got on the board to open the third, getting two unanswered goals in the first eight minutes of the frame, but Canada would go on to put three more in the net before the night was over.
Russia was equally impressive in its match against Latvia. Kucherov wasted little time getting in on the action, assisting on Mikhail Grigorenko’s first-period goal that opened the scoring to put the Russians out to a 1-0 lead. After a slow start, the Russians took the minimal one-goal lead into the second period and amped their play up rather quickly.
Nesterov notched his first of two assists on the night in the second period, setting up Yevgeni Kuznetsov’s second of three goals in the contest. Both Nesterov and Kucherov then contributed to close out the frame, recording an assist on each of Russia’s last two goals in the frame that put the squad up 7-0 heading into the final period.
Kucherov capped his night by assisting on Russia’s 10th goal of the contest early in the final period en route to the victory.