Photos by Jared Todhunter / Pittsburgh Hockey Digest
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - Sean Behrens (Barrington, Ill.) scored with 2:07 remaining in regulation to break the tie and give the U.S. National Under-18 Team a 5-4 win over the Johnstown Tomahawks Monday afternoon at 1st Summit Arena in Johnstown.
Behrens received a D-to-D pass from Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich.) at the blue line, walked in and fired a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle to give Team USA its final lead of the game. Sasha Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) picked up his second assist of the afternoon on the game-winning score.
After Johnstown's John Gelatt netted the first goal of the game, Hughes knotted the game at 1-1 late in the opening period. The feed came from Behrens on the left wing and Hughes wound up for a one-timer from the left point to tie the game. Pastujov collected the secondary helper on the power-play tally for his first point of the game.
Jeremy Wilmer (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) gave Team USA its first lead of the game when he redirected an Aidan Hreschuk (Long Beach, Calif.) pass into the net for his eighth score of the season. The assist gave Hreschuk four points over his last four games played.
After Johnstown tied the game at 2-2, Red Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.) restored the U18 lead before the close of the middle period. Savage found Wilmer below the net on an offensive rush then repositioned himself at the far post for the return pass. Savage's sixth goal of the season made it a 3-2 game while Jack Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) picked up the extra assist on the goal.
Hreschuk doubled the Team USA advantage to 4-2 when he converted on a second-chance opportunity to the left of the goal crease. Wilmer and Jack Harvey (Stacy, Minn.) assisted on the goal.
Johnstown's Dusty Geregach returned with a goal of his own to make it 4-3 and Brendan Clark tied the game late, but Behrens' goal gave the U18s two wins in two days.
Kaidan Mbereko (Aspen, Colo.) earned the win in net with 28 saves for the U18s, who return home to USA Hockey Arena for a pair of Kroger College Series games against Adrian College (Jan. 10) and Bowling Green State University (Jan. 11) next weekend.