CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Penn. - Forward Luke Tuch (Baldswinville, N.Y.) scored two goals and added an assist while defenseman Daniel Laatsch (Altoona, Wisc.) collected an NTDP career-high three points as USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 Team defeated the Green Bay Gamblers, 5-2, at the 2019 Dick's Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Tanner Latsch (Muskegon, Mich.) and Landon Slaggert (South Bend, Ind.) scored the other U18 goals. In goal, Noah Grannan (Germantown, Wisc.) stopped 21 of 23 shots en route to the victory.
Team USA is 1-0-0-0 in USHL regular season play. The U18s are 2-0-0-0 overall.
Team USA took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Laatsch at 7:14 of the first period. Hunter Strand (Anchorage, Alaska) took a shot from the high slot that was blocked, but Laatsch found the bouncing puck at the left circle and wristed his attempt past Green Bay goaltender Gavin Enright.
Green Bay tied the game at 1-1 with just under a minute remaining in the opening period. Benito Posa batted home a rebound outside the left post after Grannan made the save on Noah Ganske's shot from the right point.
Team USA exploded for three unanswered goals in the second period to lead, 4-1, after forty minutes. Tuch tipped Owen Gallatin's (Hugo, Minn.) left-point shot to score at 5:41, Tanner Latsch finished an effective rush with Hunter McKown (San Jose, CA) at 9:59, roofing a shot from the lower rim of the right circle and Slaggert jammed a shot inside the left post off the goaltender, Enright, at 15:44.
Tuch finished the Team USA scoring in the third period, while Camden Thiesing added a tally for the Gamblers.
The U18s outshot Green Bay, 28-23, in the game.
Team USA plays the Sioux City Musketeers tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
The U18s will then return home to USA Hockey Arena for opening weekend to take on Northern Michigan and Notre Dame. Tickets can be purchased by visiting USAHockeyNTDP.com/tix.