NEW HOPE, Minn. - Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Virg.) scored a pair of second-period goals and the U.S. National Under-17 team topped the Sanford Power, 5-2, Saturday afternoon at New Hope Ice Arena in Minnesota.
While playing in Minnesota for the second consecutive weekend, Team USA's three native Minnesotans scored in the game's opening 20 minutes.
Defenseman Jacob Martin (White Bear Lake, Minn.) gave Team USA the first score of the game when he finished on a second-chance opportunity. Martin took the original shot, and after the puck caromed around the boards, came back to the defenseman where he launched his second attempt into the top corner for a 1-0 lead.
Justin Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) made it a 2-0 contest when he finished in front of a beautiful set-up from teammate Ryan St. Louis (Riverside, Conn.). St Louis carried the puck from right to left in front of the goaltender and flipped a nice backhand pass to Janicke who was waiting at the other side of the crease.
After Green Bay answered back to make it 2-1, forward Chaz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) picked up his fifth goal of the young season to restore Team USA's two-goal lead. Lucius entered the offensive zone, drove the net, and finished with his back-hand through the five-hole of the goalie.
Gilmartin picked up the game's only pair of goals in the second frame. He notched his first on a 4-on-2 rush when defenseman Luke Hughes (Manchester, N.H.) went cross-ice for a back-door tap-in. He added his second of the day after he cleaned up a rebound in front of the Sanford net.
Sanford netted a power-play goal with just over 10 minutes remaining in the third period to bring the game to a 5-2 final.
Goaltender Gibson Homer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) played the entire game in net for Team USA, allowing just two goals.
The U17s are back in action tomorrow afternoon as they complete their weekend of play at the Minnesota Elite League.