The U.S. National Under-17 Team fell to the Tri-City Storm 4-3 on Saturday night at USA Hockey Arena. The game marked the sixth annual National Team Development Program Star Wars Night.
Tri-City picked up an early goal at 1:04 mark of the first period.
U17s forward Jake Pivoka (Woodridge, Ill.) tied the game at the 8:55 mark when he roofed a backhander over the outstretched glove of Storm goaltender Eric Dop. Tyler Weiss (Raleigh, N.C.) stripped the defender and centered the puck to Pivonka to earn the assist.
The Storm capitalized on a late period power play goal to take a 2-1 lead into the second period.
Bode Wilde (Birmingham, Mich.) received a pass from Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and ripped a shot from the right dot through the Dop’s pads to even the score at 2-2. Pivonka picked up an assist on the late period goal.
Jake Wise (North Andover, Mass.) buried a one-timer goal off the feed from Mattias Samuelsson (Voorhees, N.J.) at the 15:55 mark of the third period to give Team USA the 3-2 lead.
The Storm answered back with two quick goals that were 32 seconds a part from each other to take the lead 4-3 at the 7:09 mark of the third period.
Despite a late comeback attempt with Team USA goaltender Keegan Karki (Sartell, Minn.) pulled in favor of the extra attacker, the U17s were unable to tie the game.
Karki ended the night with 21 saves for Team USA while. Dop ended with 16 saves.
The U17s are back in action at USA Hockey Arena tomorrow afternoon (Jan. 29) to host Sioux Falls Stampede at 2 p.m. Tickets for all home NTDP games can be found at USAHockeyNTDP.com/Tix.
NOTES: Tonight’s commemorative Star Wars jerseys will be auctioned off online at meigrayauctions.com. Bidding will commence on February 9 and run through March 2, with proceeds benefitting C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Last year’s jersey auction raised more than $7,300 for the hospital.