Photo by Rena Laverty
USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program enters play this weekend with a record of 8-2-0-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL-T) after splitting games last weekend. The U18s continue its NCAA slate this weekend with its home-opener against Miami University (Friday, Oct. 13) at 7 p.m. ET at USA Hockey Arena. Following Friday’s game, the U18s will travel to Muskegon to face its cross-state rivals, the Muskegon Lumberjacks (Saturday, Oct. 14) at 7:15 p.m. ET at L.C. Walker Arena. The Under-17 team is on the road at New Hope Ice Arena as they compete in the Minnesota Elite League in New Hope, Minnesota on Saturday (Oct. 14) and Sunday (Oct. 15) at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Saturday, Oct. 14 Under-17 Team @ Minnesota (Upper Mid-West HS) Elite League (New Hope, Minnesota) New Hope Ice Arena
Saturday, Under-17 Team vs. Southwest @ New Hope Ice Arena 11:30 a.m. CT
Sunday, Under-17 Team vs. Elite League Selects @ New Hope Ice Arena 11:30 a.m. CT
Puck Drop: 11:30 a.m. CT
Sat: Live Stats
Sun: Live Stats
ATTACKING THE REDHAWKS: The Redhawks are led by head coach, Enrico Blasi, who has amassed a record of 375-268-67 (W-L-T) in his 17 seasons with the Redhawks. Blasi has compiled 12 20-win seasons, 10 All-Americans, one Hobey Baker Award winner (Andy Miele) and has sent 22 players to the National Hockey League.
The U18s lead the all-time series with a record of 2-0-0 against the Redhawks. The last matchup between the teams was held on October 4, 2014 in Oxford, Ohio at Goggin Ice Arena. The U.S. National Under-18 team earned a 3-0 shutout victory behind goals from Matthew Tkachuk (2013-15/Calgary Flames), Casey Fitzgerald (2013-15/Boston College) and Auston Matthews (2014-15/Toronto Maple Leafs). The first matchup was held on December 31, 2013 in Oxford, Ohio at Goggin Ice Arena where the Under-18 team won 4-2. Anders Bjork (2012-14/ Boston Bruins), recorded two goals while Alex Tuch (2012-14/Los Vegas Golden Knights) and Ryan Hitchcock (2012-14/Yale University) each netted a goal of their own.
The Redhawks have 20 returning players and have started the 2017-18 campaign 0-2-0 after falling short to #5 Providence University 3-1 and 3-2, last weekend. Juniors Grant Hutton and Casey Gilling have each recorded a goal and an assist on the season. Returning goaltender, Ryan Larkin has been between the pipes recording a 0-2-0 record. Larkin has a 3.05 goals-against-average with a .885 save-percentage in two games.
#USHL Rivals: The U18s travel to Muskegon, Michigan for the second of eight meetings against the Lumberjacks this season. The NTDP leads the season series 1-0-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL). The U18s came out victorious, 7-6 against the Lumberjacks in a shootout earlier this season on Sept. 23. Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y.) netted two goals in the matchup, including the game-winner in the shootout. The Lumberjacks face the Under-18 team on Sunday, Oct.14 at 7:15 p.m. ET at L.C. Walker Arena. During the 2017-18 season, the Under-18 team will play the Lumberjacks three times while the Under-17 team will play the Lumberjacks five times. The Under-17 team faces the Lumberjacks on Dec. 29 at L.C. Walker Arena. The NTDP holds a 25-24-5 overall record against the Lumberjacks along with a 10-17-2 record while playing at L.C. Walker Arena. Last season against the Lumberjacks, the NTDP held a record of 2-2-1 while at home and a 1-2-1 record at Muskegon.
The U18s enter its first USHL game of the season with a 4-2-0 overall record. Bode Wilde (Birmingham, Mich.) (2-6-8), and Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass.) (5-3-8) are leading the way for the U18s with eight points in six games. Adam Samuelsson (San Diego, Calif.), follows with seven points (1-6-7). Drew DeRidder (Fenton, Mich.) has been between the pipes in five of the six games played posting a record of 2-2-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL) along with a 3.24 goals-against-average and a .893 save-percentage. The Lumberjacks come into the matchup with a 1-1-0-0 record on the season after splitting its matchups last weekend. Anthony DelGaizo is leading the way for the Lumberjacks with three points (1-2-3) in two games played. Jachym Kondelik and Metej Pekar follow with two points each. Adam Brizgala has been between the pipes, posting a 1-1-0-0 record along with a 1.52 goals-against-average and a .906 save-percentage. The Muskegon Lumberjacks face the Chicago Steel (1-1-0-0) on Friday before hosting the U18s on Saturday.
BATTLING THE MINNESOTA ELITE LEAGUE: The U.S. National Under-17 team is in New Hope, Minnesota this weekend as they compete against the Minnesota Elite League, facing off against team Southwest and Minnesota Elite Selects. The U17s enter the weekend with a 4-0-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL) record. The U17s first matchup on Saturday is against team Southwest, who enters the matchup on a nine-game winning streak and a record of 11-2-2 (W-L-T). Sam Walker is leading the team with 34 points (13-21-34) in 14 games. Goaltender, Jackson Hjelle, has posted a 7-1-0 record in 15 games played while tallying a 3.13 goals-against-average and a .900 save-percentage. On Sunday, the U17s will face the best the Elite League has to offer, as a combined roster select team will hit the ice to face the NTDP.
NTDP-MIAMI U CONNECTION: Prior to the 2017-18 season, the NTDP had sent 14 players to Miami University, including Hobey Baker Finalists Austin Czarnik (2012-13/Boston Bruins) and Nathan Davis (2006-07). NTDP alumni Louie Belpendio (2012-14) enters his second season as captain for the Redhawks. Belpedio posted 17 points in 24 games during his junior season and was a preseason All-NCHC pick after earning All-NCHC Honorable Mention in 2016-17. Jonathan Gruden (Rochester, Mich.) from the U18s is the only current NTDP skater verbally commit to the Redhawks.
USHL FORWARD OF THE WEEK: Michael Gildon (Plano, Texas) recorded a hat-trick in his first USHL contest last Saturday en route to earning his first USHL Forward of the Week honor. Full Story: http://bit.ly/2gt2mX5
LAST WEEK’S WRAP UP: The U.S. National Under-17 Team defeated the defending Clark Cup Champion, Chicago Steel, on Saturday (Oct. 7) night at Fox Valley Ice Arena, 10-5. Gildon tallied a hat trick and Cole Caufield (Stevens Point, Wis.) scored twice in the U17s first USHL win. U17 goaltenders, Cameron Rowe (Wilmette, Ill.) and Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn.) combined for 23 saves in the win.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team fell 4-1 at the hands of Bowling Green State University on Friday night in Bowling Green, Ohio. Jake Pivonka (Naperville, Ill.) scored the lone goal for the U18s at the 2:24 mark of the third period. Pivonka sent the puck past Falcons goaltender, Ryan Bednard from the right circle after receiving a pass from Wilde. Adam Samuelsson also received an assist on the play.
PLAYER FEATURE: Drew DeRidder talks about how the NTDP feels like home. Full Story: http://bit.ly/2yeYGCj
TICKET PACKAGES: The NTDP is offering several new season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season. These new packages include the College Six Pack, Youth Pass and Adult Hockey Package. Single game tickets can be purchases here: USAHockeyNTDP.com/Tix. More information is available here USAHockeyArena.com or by calling 734.453.8400.
U18S NCAA SCHEDULE: The U.S. National Under-18 Team will skate in 15 NCAA games this season, including 11 tilts with Division I squads. The U18s record sits at 0-2-0 (W-L-T) against collegiate opponents. The U18s open its home NCAA schedule this weekend against Miami University on Friday (Oct. 13) before heading east to take on Dartmouth College (Oct. 20) and #3 Harvard University (Oct. 21). Take a look at the latest USA Hockey/USA Today Men's College Hockey poll.