DUBUQUE, Iowa – Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) continued his impressive scoring campaign, netting two goals to lead the U.S. National Under-17 Team to a 4-2 victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Howard got the ball rolling early in the first period when Devin Kaplan (Bridgewater, N.J.) found the 5-foot-9 forward at the right circle who beat a defender and Dubuque goaltender Hobie Hedquist to give the U.S. a 1-0 advantage. The tally marked Howard's fifth straight game with a goal.
Just over a minute later, Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) split a pair of Dubuque defenders and found Frank Nazar (Mount Clemens, Mich.) who buried the puck past Hedquist from deep to double Team USA's lead.
Kaden Muir (Manchester, N.H.) notched his first goal of the season off a pass from Brady Berard (East Greenwich, R.I.). The 6-foot defenseman skated through the offensive zone and fired the feed from Berard past Hedquist to make it a 3-0 game.
At the 14:32 mark of the middle frame, Nazar poke checked the puck from a Dubuque forward and fed a pass across the neutral zone to Howard who put a shot high over the shoulder of Hedquist for the score.
Former NTDP forward Daniyal Dzhaniyev got the Fighting Saints on the board late in the second period, and Evan Stella added a second tally to open the third period, but goaltender Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J.) and the U.S. defense held strong to secure a 4-2 victory.
Muszelik stopped 31 of 33 shots to earn the win in goal.
The U17s return to the ice next weekend when they travel to Wisconsin to take on the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League.