Photo by Jon Edwards
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Despite a late third-period rally, the U.S. National Under-17 Team fell, 6-4, to the NAHL's Johnstown Tomahawks Saturday night at 1st Summit Bank Arena.
Ryan Chesley (Mahtomedi, Minn.), Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Marek Hejduk (Parker, Colo.) and Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) each tallied their first NTDP goals in the loss.
The two teams return to the ice for a Sunday afternoon matinee at 1st Summit Bank Arena. Puck drop is slated for 4:30 p.m. ET.
The U.S. generated several scoring chances in the first period, but could not capitalize in the offensive zone and the Tomahawks scored a trio of goals to take a 3-0 lead into the second frame.
Team USA broke through in the second period when Gauthier skated the puck past Tomahawks goaltender Sam Evola to cut the deficit to 3-1, but Johnstown added another goal to make it a 4-1 game. Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.) and Charlie Leddy (Fairfield, Conn.) picked up assists on the goal.
Chesley added a tally of his own off a faceoff feed from Logan Cooley (West Mifflin, Pa.) with 6:26 remaining in the second period, but the Tomahawks scored a pair of goals to take a 6-2 advantage heading into the final period.
Team USA took control in the third period, and a pair of back-to-back goals from Hejduk and Snuggerud slashed the Tomahawks' lead to 6-4.
Cooley nearly put the Americans within a goal of the Tomahawks on the penalty kill at the 12:25 mark of the third period, but his shot rang off the far post.
The U.S. pulled goaltender Dylan Silverstein (Calabasas, Calif.) with just over a minute remaining in the period to generate extra scoring chances, but could not convert and settled for a 6-4 loss.
Both Silverstein and Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J.) saw time in the net for Team USA, combining for 23 saves on the night.
The U.S. outshot Johnstown, 40-29, in the loss.