Lightning forward Brett Connolly continues to impress at the IIHF World Junior Championships tournament currently being held in the Canadian province of Alberta.
For the fourth consecutive game, Connolly scored a goal to help Team Canada edge out the United States for a 3-2 win, allowing his side to punch a ticket into the semifinal round.
Connolly has now scored a goal in each of Canada’s matches so far in the tournament.
Canada’s play in the first period was overwhelming for the Americans who created precious few scoring chances and were swarmed every time they had the puck. Canada was more tenacious and more effective both with and without the puck.
The first 40 minutes looked like the game might be a run-away, as Canada scored all of its three goals on the night in the first period.
Mark Stone and Jaden Schwartz scored a pair of tallies within the first 10 minutes, and Connolly added his with just over four minutes to go.
After a scoreless second, the United States made things interesting, getting two goals in the final 10 minutes of the match to cut the deficit to just one with seven minutes remaining in regulation.
Canada’s goaltender, Scott Wedgewood, however, stayed strong down the stretch in the final few minutes to help preserve the victory for his club.
Other Bolts prospects in action on Saturday were 2011 Draft picks Nikita Nesterov and Nikita Kucherov, who did not land on the score sheet in Russia’s 4-3 loss to Sweden, and Slovakia’s Adam Janosik, who despite being held without a point, helped his team turn a two-goal deficit into a 6-4 win over Switzerland.