PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Despite outshooting the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 35-29, the U.S. National Under-17 Team fell, 4-3, Saturday night at USA Hockey Arena.
Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.), Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.) each scored for the U.S. in the loss.
Team USA fell behind early in the first period after Muskegon scored a pair of goals to take a 2-0 lead, but McGroarty cut the deficit to 2-1 after burying a feed from Devin Kaplan (Bridgewater, N.J.) past Muskegon goalie Nathan Reid.
Howard extended his impressive scoring streak to 16 games, putting away a rebound in the Muskegon crease to even the score at 2-2 with just over a minute to play in the second period.
Gauthier gave the U.S. its first lead of the night on a 5-on-3 power play in the middle stanza, collecting a tic-tac-toe feed from Seamus Casey (Estero, Fla.) and Tyler Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) firing a laser from the right circle past Reid to make it a 3-2 game.
Muskegon rallied to tie the game heading into the final intermission, and Christophe Tellier scored at the 7:02 mark of the third period to lift the Lumberjacks to a 4-3 victory.
Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J) stopped 25 shots in goal for Team USA.
The U17s return to action Jan. 8-9 with a series against the Chicago Steel at USA Hockey Arena.