SUNDSVALL, Sweden - The U.S. National Under-18 Team used five second-period goals to take down Switzerland, 6-2, on Friday evening at the Five Nations tournament in Sweden.
Forward Matthew Beniers (Hingham, Mass.) led the way with two goals for Team USA, which won its second game of the tournament.
The Swiss team notched the only goal of the game's opening period, but Team USA responded in a big way during the middle frame.
Beniers got the U18s on the board when he finished a tic-tac-toe passing segment alone in front of the Switzerland net. Tyler Kleven (Fargo, N.D.) carried the puck behind the goal and found Brett Berard (East Greenwich, R.I.) in the slot. Berard drew the goalie towards him before he found Beniers on a backside tap-in.
After Team Switzerland responded quickly with a goal to regain its lead, Jake Sanderson (Whitefish, Mont.) tied the game with a quick wrist-shot from the slot at 3:20 of the second. Daniyal Dzhaniyev (Brooklyn, N.Y.) picked up the lone assist on the score.
Hunter Strand (Anchorage, Alaska) gave the U.S. its first lead of the game at 5:24 with another goal in front of the net. Chase Yoder (Fairview, Texas) sent a cross-ice pass to Ty Smilanic (Denver, Colo.) who quickly sent it the other direction for Strand to deflect home for a 3-2 lead.
Beniers added his second of the game when he cleaned up a rebound in front of the Swiss netminder. Dylan Peterson (Roseville, Calif.) and Smilanic collected helpers on Beniers' sixth of the season.
Berard capped off the five-goal second when he capitalized off a Swiss defensive-zone turnover. Thomas Bordeleau (Houston, Texas) picked up the loose puck and sent a pass to Berard at the goalline. The Providence College commit hauled in the puck, dangled, spun and flipped a quick wrister over the shoulder of Swiss goalie Kevin Pasche to give Team USA a 5-2 lead.
Kleven capped the game's scoring with a rocket of a slap-shot late in the third period, his first goal of the season. Bordeleau recorded an assist for a multi-point effort on the night.
Noah Grannan (Germantown, Wis.) picked up the win in net for Team USA as he made 11 stops in the victory.
The team is back in action tomorrow (Nov. 9) against Team Finland. Puck drop is slated for 1 p.m. CET / 7 a.m. EST from Sundsvall Energi Arena in Sweden.
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