Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Matthew Beniers (Hingham, Mass.) collected his first National Team Development Program hat trick and 17 other U18 players registered at least one point in the U.S. National Under-18 Team victory over the Green Bay Gamblers Saturday, Mar. 16 at USA Hockey Arena.
The U18’s record improves to 37-11-2-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL), and Team USA’s combined record in USHL play is 26-18-2-4.
Just 59 seconds into play, Cole Caufield (Stevens Point, Wis.) found the back of the net with assists from Marshall Warren (Laurel Hollow, N.Y.) and Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla.).
At 6:09, Ryder Rolston (Birmingham, Mich.) tallied a power-play goal, scoring his tenth USHL goal of the season. The play started when Matthew Boldy (Millis, Mass.) found Henry Thrun (Southborough, Mass.) at the blueline, who produced the initial shot on net. Rolston followed up on the rebound, batting it into the net.
A short moment later at 7:44, Warren ripped a shot that went over the left shoulder of Gambler’s goaltender Maksim Zhukov.
With 9:04 left in the first period, Hughes and Alex Turcotte (Island Lake, Ill.) cycled the puck around the back of the net to find Cam York (Anaheim Hill, Calif.) at the blueline. York tallied Team USA’s second power-play goal of the night.
Judd Caulfield (Grand Forks, N.D.) extended the U18s lead with a goal at 8:34 with a pass from Warren. Rolston scored his second of the night with 7:21 left on the clock, assisted by Domenick Fensore (Thornwood, N.Y.) and Farrell, to give Team USA a 6-0 lead heading into the second period.
5:52 into the middle frame, Case McCarthy (Clarence Center, N.Y.) found Boldy alone in the center of the ice. Boldy took the puck down the ice, scoring on a breakaway.
Michael Gildon (Plano, Texas) hit Hughes at 8:08, who was at the bottom right circle, with a pass. Hughes then fired the puck short side to mark the eighth goal of the night.
At 9:24 Turcotte scored his 22nd goal of the 2018-19 season with the help of Moynihan and Boldy.
Matthew Beniers (Hingham, Mass.) registered two goals at the end of the second stanza. The first goal was with 4:33 left, assisted by Hughes, and the second goal with 38 seconds left, assisted by Fensore and York.
The Green Bay Gamblers tallied its first goal of the game 2:07 into the final period.
With 7:24 left in regulation, Beniers scored his third of the night, marking his first NTDP hat trick.
Trevor Zegras (Bedford, N.Y.) notched the final goal of the game with 13 seconds left, accounting for the 13-1 final.
Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn.) stood tall in net, saving 19 of the 20 shots on goal.
Green Bay Gamblers goaltenders split the game with Ryan Ullan playing 48 minutes and 33 seconds and saving 23 of the 31 shots on net he faced; Maksim Zhukov playing 11 minutes and 26 seconds and saving 12 of the 17 shots on net he faced.
The U18s return to action against the Des Moines Buccaneers at USA Hockey Arena next weekend (Friday, Mar. 22 and Saturday, Mar. 23) for Salute to Heroes Weekend. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET for both games. Tickets for all home games can be purchased online at USAHockeyNTDP.com/Tix, by calling 734-453-6400, or visiting the box office.
NOTES: The U18s outshot Green Bay 48-20… The U18s went 2-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill… Matthew Beniers earned the No. 1 Star … Marshall Warren earned the No. 2 Star … Ryder Rolston earned the No. 3 Star … Domenick Fensore earned the Hardest Worker.