Photo: Michael Caples
Matthew Beniers (Hingham, Mass.) scored his fourth goal of the season, and third in two games, but the U.S. National Under-18 Team fell 2-1 to Michigan State Friday evening at Munn Ice Arena.
Beniers' power-play tally tied the game at 1-1 at 3:22 of the middle period. Forwards Dylan Peterson (Roseville, Calif.) and Ty Smilanic (Denver, Colo.) picked up the helpers on the play.
Michigan State's Patrick Khodorenko opened up the game's scoring with less than a minute remaining in the first period, assisted by Christian Krygier and Dennis Cesana.
After Beniers scored early in the middle frame, neither side managed to change the scoreboard until late in the third period.
The Spartans' Gianluca Esteves tallied the game-winning goal with just over three minutes to play in regulation.
Drew Commesso started in net for Team USA and finished the contest with 29 saves on 31 shots from Michigan State.
The Spartans outshot Team USA by a slim 31-28 margin.
The U18s return home to USA Hockey Arena for a pair of games against the USHL's Madison Capitols to finish their weekend.
Tomorrow night's game is a 7:00 p.m. start while Sunday's afternoon matchup, the annual sensory-friendly game, drops the puck at 4:00 p.m. For tickets to any future Team USA home game, visit USAHockeyNTDP.com/tix.