Leafs prospect Morgan Rielly was outstanding for Canada in their 6-3 come from behind win over Slovakia to improve to 2-0-0 at the 2013 World Junior tournament.
“As a team I think this will help us down the road,” Rielly told TSN after the game. “We understand that every team in this tournament is pretty good and we have to play well every night and tonight we were put to the test and we played well down the stretch.”
If you missed the game, you can watch a replay tonight at 7:30 pm on TSN.
With Canada trailing 3-1 in the second period, Rielly’s power play goal on a two-man advantage got Canada going. After entering the period trailing, thanks to three straight goals the Red and White would be ahead 4-3 entering the final 20 minutes.
It is always a great game when scoring for your country but it was also special for Rielly as his parents made the trek from British Columbia to Russia.
“I’m not sure when they got here but I was pretty happy they could be here.” he said to TSN. “It’s always nice to score but when your parents are here it’s a bonus.”
The Leafs first round pick in 2012 had three points in the period (one goal, two assists). After two games he has four points to lead all defenceman in scoring in the tournament along with a plus three rating.
Canada will be off Saturday before a huge game against the USA Sunday (4:30am TSN).
Other Leafs prospects in action Friday included defenceman Tom Nilsson and Sweden who needed a shootout to defeat Switzerland 3-2. Nilsson was held scoreless for the second straight game. He took a penalty in the second period and finished the game with an even rating.
Nilsson will be the only prospect in action Saturday as Sweden faces Latvia.
Tyler Biggs and the USA fell 2-1 to Russia in Group B action Friday. Biggs has been playing a checking role in the tournament and has been scoreless in two games. The next game for Biggs and the US is Sunday against Rielly and Canada.
Canada currently leads the stacked Group B with six points followed by Russia with five and the USA third with three.