Photo by Rena Laverty
Chaz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) scored with less than 90 seconds remaining in overtime to give the U.S. National Under-17 team its third consecutive win, 5-4, over the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Justin Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) led the 2-on-1 break for Team USA and slid a pass to Lucius as they entered the offensive zone. The University of Minnesota commit roofed his wrister over Erik Portillo's shoulder to give the U17s their second overtime win in the last three games.
Sasha Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) got the scoring started when he converted from the center-slot on a 5-on-3 power play. The U17s moved the puck quickly around the perimeter of the Dubuque defensive unit before Pastujov wound up for a one-timer to make it a 1-0 game. Sean Behrens (Barrington, Ill.) and Jack Devine (Glencoe, Ill.) picked up the assists on the opening goal.
Dubuque's Ty Jackson answered with a goal of his own to tie the game at 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.
Team USA regained the lead with another power-play tally from Ty Gallagher (Clarkston, Mich.) to make it 2-1 at 7:08 of the middle period. Jack Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) made a nice play to keep the puck in the offensive zone where Lucius collected and found Gallagher at the left circle. The defenseman's shot took an odd bounce off the ice and hopped over Portillo's right pad and into the back of the net.
Devine doubled the U17s lead to 3-1 when he converted on a rebound right in front of the Fighting Saints' cage. Jacob Martin (Eagle River, Wis.) led the odd-man rush and found his defensive partner Roman Schmidt (Midland, Mich.) for the initial shot. After Portillo made the first save, Devine hammered home the loose puck for his third score of the season.
Dubuque responded less than two minutes later when Mark Cheremeta picked up his third goal of the season with a quick shot after an offensive-zone face-off win.
Devine tallied his second of the evening when he connected on another rebound opportunity at 6:47 of the third. Jack Hughes took the first shot that was saved, but Devine found the loose puck just outside the crease and flipped it in for a 4-2 USA lead.
Dubuque pushed across two goals before the end of regulation to force an overtime period before Lucius ended the game at 3:31 of the extra period.
Gibson Homer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) picked up the win in net as he posted 34 saves, none better than his stop of a Fighting Saints' 2-on-1 to keep the game tied early in the second period.
The team is off from USHL play as they enter their first international tournament of the season, the World Under-17 Challenge in Canada next weekend. For the latest NTDP news, follow the team on all social media @USAHockeyNTDP.