Photo by Daryl Marshke
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Andre Gasseau (Garden Grove, Calif.) and Sasha Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) picked up four points apiece, Dylan Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) added two goals and an assist and the U.S. National Under-18 Team topped the Concordia Falcons, 8-2, Friday evening at USA Hockey Arena.
The win was the U18s' sixth straight to start the season, tying the second-longest run to begin a year in NTDP history.
Pastujov gave the NTDP a 1-0 lead after he finished a 2-on-1 play. Duke made a tremendous play to keep the puck in the offensive zone, where it squirted loose to Gasseau. The California native drew both the defenseman and goaltender before shifting over to Pastujov for his sixth score in as many games.
13 seconds later, Caden Brown (St. Louis, Mo.) scored a highlight-reel goal when he batted the puck out of mid-air on his backhand for this third tally of the season. Defenseman Ty Gallagher (Clarkston, Mich.) took the initial shot that popped up high and Justin Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) recorded the secondary helper on the score.
Duke, who netted 29 goals a season ago, picked up his first of the season with a deflection in front of the net on the power play. Roman Schmidt (Midland, Mich.) and Pastujov were credited with assists on the tally that made it 3-0.
The Falcons' Cole Pickup got Concordia on the board before the close of the opening period.
Sean Behrens (Barrington, Ill.) wasted no time in the middle frame as his first goal of the season made it a 4-1 contest less than two minutes into the second period. The 5-foot-9 defenseman's goal was set up by Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich.) and Jack Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) on the power play.
Duke netted his second of the night on a max-effort 3-on-2 break. Pastujov flipped the puck into the offensive zone where Gasseau corralled below the red-line and centered a feed, where Duke connected in front for a 5-1 Team USA lead.
Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Va.) picked up his second score of the year on a redirection from the right slot. Ryan St. Louis (Riverside, Conn.) and Ty Murchison (Corona, Calif.) got the helpers on the score.
Tyler Boucher (Haddonfield, N.J.) fired a wicked wrister from the right wing for Team USA's seventh goal in the third period. Gasseau and Jacob Martin (Eagle River, Wis.) racked up assists on the tally.
Pastujov closed the game's scoring with just over five minutes to play as he caught a piece of Aidan Hreschuk's (Long Beach, Calif.) shot before it went in. Gasseau picked up assist number four on the night.
Gibson Homer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) recorded his fourth win in as many decisions as he turned aside 11 of the 13 shots he faced.
The U18s continue their Kroger College Series tomorrow evening against the Adrian Bulldogs at Arrington Ice Arena in Adrian, Michigan.