Photo by Ryan Thompson
Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa.) and Graham Slaggert (South Bend, Ind.) each tallied twice in the U.S. National Under-18 Team's 5-2 victory against the first-ranked Chicago Steel on Saturday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena.
Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich.), the game's third star, recorded three assists in to fuel the Team USA victory.
With the win the U18s capture their 20th victory of the season. Their record now stands at 20-17-2-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL).
Chicago took the early lead at the 7:29 mark of the first period but it would be the only time the U18s trailed in the game.
Barratt, the game’s first star, picked up his first goal of the game at the 13:38 mark of the opening frame. Nate Knoepke (Farmington, Minn.) and Michael Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) assisted on the play. The U18s and Steel headed into the first intermission tied 1-1.
After over 20 minutes between goals, Barratt added his second of the night on the power play. Max Gildon (Plano, Texas) earned an assist on the play.
Grant Mismash (Edina, Minn.) scored the eventual game winner just a few moments later off an assist by Norris. Team USA led 3-1 after two periods of play.
Chicago scored just 35 seconds into the third period but Slaggert gave Team USA a two-goal cushion at the 6:31 mark of the third period. Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) and Norris earned assists on the goal.
Slaggert added his second goal of the night on an empty net goal with 52 seconds left in the period to give the U18s the final score of 5-2.
Adam Scheel (Lakewood, Ohio) picked up his second United States Hockey League victory of the season with 26 saves on 28 shots. Ales Stezka made 30 saves in the loss for Chicago.
Both teams were 1-5 on the power play.
Team USA outshot Chicago 35-28.
The U18s return home to USA Hockey Arena on Friday when they face the Tri-City Storm at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be Teacher Appreciation Night. Tickets for all National Team Development games can be found at www.usahockeyntdp.com/tix.