OXFORD, Ohio - The U.S. National Under-18 Team erased two deficits but could not complete the comeback in a 4-2 loss to Miami University (OH) Friday evening at Goggin Ice Center.
Hunter Strand (Anchorage, Alaska) and Brock Faber (Maple Grove, Minn.) scored for Team USA in the loss.
Miami kicked off the game's scoring when Noah Jordan picked up a loose puck and found the back of the net from the left faceoff circle at 9:27 of the opening period.
Strand answered with his second goal of the season early in the second period. The 5-foot-11 forward took the first shot that was kicked aside by Grant Valentine. After he fell to the ice, Strand got his stick on the rebound and knocked home a second opportunity from his backside. Daniel Laatsch (Altoona, Wis.) picked up the lone assist on the goal.
The RedHawks restored their advantage with a power-play tally off a redirection in front from Ryan Savage, older brother of U17 forward Red Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.), at 14:41 of the second.
Faber took the puck the length of the ice on the power play and finished alone in front to tie the game at 2-2 late in the middle frame. The University of Minnesota commit corralled the puck behind his own net and went untouched all the way down before he finished with his forehand at 16:49 of the period. Goaltender Noah Grannan (Germantown, Wis.) picked up his first assist of the season on the score.
Miami's Casey Gilling tallied the winner when he pushed across a second-chance shot after a goul-mouth scramble with just over seven minutes to play in regulation. The RedHawks' Karch Bachman capped the game with an empty-netter.
Drew Commesso (Norwell, Mass.) stopped eight of the nine shots he saw while Grannan turned aside 10 of 12 as the goalie pair split the game's minutes in half.
The U18s take off for their first international competition of the season as they head to Sweden for a Five Nations tournament next week. Team USA will play four games, beginning Wednesday in Sundsvall, Sweden.
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