For a second straight day, Lightning prospects shined on the global stage at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships, being held in Buffalo, New York.
Following a tough loss yesterday at the hands of the United States, Lightning hopefuls Richard Panik and Adam Janosik, along with the rest of Team Slovakia, remained idle on Wednesday and enjoyed the time off to recuperate in preparation for its next scheduled match on Thursday against Switzerland. But two consecutive days of match play didn’t slow down Team Canada’s Brett Connolly, whom Tampa Bay selected with its first pick, sixth overall, in this past summer’s NHL Entry Draft.
After being held without a point on Tuesday in a 6-1 rout of the Czech Republic, Connolly assisted on two of Team Canada’s goals Wednesday in another lopsided decision, as his squad defeated Norway 10-1.
The Canadians wasted little time scoring, as it put six goals in the back of the net through the first period alone. Connolly proved to be an immediate force on the ice, as he notched his first helper when he finished off a 2-on-1 on the game’s opening goal from Casey Cizikas 2:01 into the first. The goals kept coming in quick succession after that, with the only excitement from Norway coming off the faceoff after Canada made it 4-0. Norwegian forward Rasmus Juell claimed the puck at center, skated in on goal, and lifted a shot past the Canadian net minder for his team’s only score.
Connolly got his second of the night to help make it 9-1 in the third period on a goal by Sean Couturier. He also added a shot on goal and earned a plus-1 rating before the night was over. His teammate and fellow Lightning first-rounder Carter Ashton was held scoreless, but did have one shot on net.
Sparked by four goals from Los Angeles Kings prospect Brayden Schenn, the win kept Canada atop Group B with a perfect 3-0 record and nine points, while Norway remained winless and in danger of going to the Relegation Round.
Canada will enjoy a day off Thursday and will face off next against Sweden on Friday.