June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Andrew Yasilevski looks at his team jersey after being selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bolts Prospects Shine at the 2013 WJC as Russia Wins on Opening Day

Opening day doesn’t get much better than this. This holds especially true if your names are Andrey Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov.

Vasilevskiy made 32 saves as he and his teammates defeated Slovakia in a 3-2 victory in overtime.

It was Bolts prospect Nikita Kucherov that netted the opening goal on a pass from Mikhail Grigorenko putting Russia up 1-0.

It would seem that the first period was a loss for the Slovaks as they found themselves unable to recover from Kucherov’s opening goal.

After Alexander Khokhlachyov put one between the pipes midway through the second period off of a pass from teammate Andrei Sigaryov, it seemed as if Russia was in full control. However, just before the second intermission Slovakia’s Matus Matis was able to net one bringing the score to 2-1.

To make matters even more stressful, in the closing seconds of regulation, Vasilevskiy was unable to get a handle a quick shot from the corner allowing Slovakia’s Richard Mraz to score with only 38 seconds left on the clock.

Tied 2-2 in overtime, with seconds left until they would be heading to a shootout, Nikita Kucherov shot, and just barely missed the net. However, while on a power play, teammate Albert Yarullin snuck one past Nagy to bring this game to a close.

Unfortunately, even though they began opening day with a win, overtime wins are only awarded with two points instead of the normal three.

Russia is currently only one point behind Canada for the number one spot in Group B. They will face the United States this Friday in Ufa.



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Tags: 2013 World Junior Championship Andrey Vasilevskiy Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lightning

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