Blaine, Minn. - The U.S. National Under-17 Team used a pair of third-period goals to push past the NAHL's Odessa Jackalopes, 3-2, at the NAHL Showcase Friday night in Minnesota.
Jack Devine (Glencoe, Ill.) got Team USA on the board first with a power-play goal at 10:17 of the opening frame. The forward took a back-door feed from defenseman Luke Hughes (Manchester, N.H.) and netted his first of the season on an easy tap-in.
Odessa collected the game's next two goals from the sticks of Matt Hutton and Vilho Saariluoma. Hutton converted on a 3-on-2 opportunity before the Finnish Saariluoma gave the Jackalopes their first lead with a quick wrist-shot before the close of the first.
After a scoreless middle frame, forward Sasha Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) tied the game with a great deflection in front of the net. Chaz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) won an offensive-zone draw and the puck kicked back to Ty Gallagher (Clarkston, Mich.). The defenseman took a shot from the right point that Pastujov deftly tipped in to make it a 2-2 game.
Lucius restored Team USA's lead with a redirection-goal of his own with 7:16 to play in regulation. Defenseman Aidan Hreschuk (Long Beach, Calif.) took the original shot and Lucius, planted in between a defenseman and goalie, somehow found the puck to give Team USA a 3-2 lead it would not relinquish.
Goaltender Gibson Homer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) played 40 minutes in net without surrendering a goal to pick up the win for Team USA.
The 17s are back in action tomorrow night when they take on the Amarillo Bulls to conclude their portion of the 2019 NAHL Showcase.