On the final day of the 2013 World Junior Championship, four Tampa Bay Lightning prospects entered Ufa Arena hoping to win a medal on home ice. They did just that, beating the Canadians to capture the bronze.
This game saw prospects Nikita Nesterov, Nikita Kucherov and Artem Sergeev all suit up for the Russians, with two making a big impact. Sergeev had an assist on the game-winning goal in overtime while Nesterov assisted on a power play goal during the game. On the other hand Kucherov, who actually was among the leaders in tournament scoring, didn’t find the scoresheet. Meanwhile, goaltending prospect Andrey Vasilevskiy did not dress as he’d started Russia’s past two games.
Following the games (USA beat Sweden to take home the gold in the other), the tournament released their awards. Vasilevskiy and Nesterov were named, by vote of the coaches, to be two of Russia’s top three players during the tournament. (Source: Bolt Prospects)
Lightning prospect Tanner Richard also played in the tournament for Switzerland, recording a few points before a shootout loss to the Russians in the quarterfinals ended their bid for a medal. Oddly enough that shootout loss was where fellow prospects Vasilevskiy and Kucherov did most of their damage, with Vasilevskiy recording 41 saves and Kucherov scoring the equalizer and game winner. (Source: Leader-Post)
Congrats to all the teams that medaled, and nice effort by all other teams who took part in this tournament. If these prospects can play this well at the NHL level, the Lightning are sure to be a team to reckon with for years to come.