Photo by Rena Laverty
CRANBERRY, Pa. – Five different goal scorers found the net as the U.S. National Under-18 Team defeated the Omaha Lancers, 5-1, at the 2017 USHL Fall Classic at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
The U18s improve to 4-0-0-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL-T) this season.
Adam Samuelsson (San Diego, Calif.), Bode Wilde (Birmingham, Mich.), Jake Pivonka (Naperville, Ill.), Jonathan Gruden (Rochester, Mich.) and Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass.) scored goals and Drew DeRidder (Fenton, Mich.) had a strong performance in net for the U18s.
Samuelsson scored the only goal of the first period at 17:08 to give the U18s a 1-0 lead.
The goal came on an excellent three-way passing play started by Jay O'Brien (Hingham, Mass.), who carried the puck and found Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale, Ariz.) at the right goal line. Middendorf threaded the pass across to Samuelsson, who was all alone in front of the Omaha goal.
Wilde scored the only goal of the second period on a U18 power play at 10:39, when he took a shot from the right circle. Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y.) and Wahlstrom drew assists.
The U18 specialty - a shorthanded goal - came in the third period when Pivonka, set up by Wilde, ripped a shot from the right hashmark past Omaha goaltender Zach Driscoll at 14:45.
The U18s have scored six shorthanded goals over its last three games.
Omaha got its lone goal of the game at 14:45 of the third period when Christian O'Neill converted on a scramble in front of DeRidder to cut the Team USA lead to 3-1.
Omaha pulled Driscoll for the extra attacker with 3:14 remaining, but Gruden and Wahlstrom both scored on the empty net to seal the victory for the U18s.
The U18s continue on the road on tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 1, at the University of Notre Dame at 5:05 pm ET.