Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - The U.S. National Under-18 Team defeated Adrian College by a 9-1 final Sunday afternoon behind a hat-trick performance from Red Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and two goals apiece from Dylan Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) and Sasha Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.).
Savage used his frame in front of the net to clean up a rebound and extend the U18s' lead to 2-0 at 12:33 of the opening period for his first score of the game. The initial shot came from Jeremy Wilmer (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) while Justin Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) picked up the secondary helper.
The Miami University commit netted his second in the middle period off a nifty feed from Wilmer behind the net. Wilmer skated behind the Adrian cage, made the goalie turn and reversed a pass to Savage for his second score of the game.
Savage completed the hat trick when he converted on a 4-on-1 break early in the final period. Wilmer shifted the puck to Roman Schmidt (Midland, Mich.) in the center-slot, where he found Savage in front of an empty net for an easy tap-in to make it a 7-0 game.
Dylan Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) wasted no time getting Team USA on the board as he scored the opening goal just 32 seconds into the game on a breakaway. Sasha Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) led him behind the Bulldogs defense and Duke deposited his wrist-shot for his eighth marker of the season.
Team USA made it 3-0 before the close of the first behind Jacob Martin's (Eagle River, Wis.) first goal of the season. After sustained offensive-zone pressure, Martin collected the puck off a failed Adrian clearing attempt, spun and fired a wrister in for third consecutive Team USA goal.
Pastujov continued his torrid scoring pace when he collected a power-play goal at 12:40 of the middle period. Sean Behrens (Barrington, Ill.) sent a cross-ice pass to Pastujov at the right point, where the Notre Dame commit crept in and ripped his wrist-shot under the bar from the right faceoff circle. Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich.) picked up an assist on the PPG.
Duke netted his second goal of the game on the team's first shot of the third period. Hughes sprung him up the left boards with a pass and Duke made a shifty outside-in move at the blue line to shake the defenseman for the 1-on-1 opportunity and buried his attempt to make it 6-0.
After Savage completed the hat trick, Team USA used some acrobatics on Pastujov's second of the game. Jack Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) attempted a lacrosse-style goal, but Pastujov found the rebound in mid-air and batted it in with a baseball-style swing for his 16th tally of the year.
Ty Gallagher (Clarkston, Mich.) completed the Team USA scoring when he ripped his shot in from the slot with just over 12 minutes to play in regulation. Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Va.) and Andre Gasseau (Garden Grove, Calif.) collected assists on the goal.
Kaidan Mbereko (Aspen, Colo.) was stout in net for the U18s as he made eight saves to pick up his sixth win of the season and fourth in as many decisions.
Team USA finished the game with a 41-9 shot advantage.
The U18s are back in action tomorrow night as they host the Bowling Green Falcons at USA Hockey Arena for the continuation of their Kroger College Series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET and limited tickets remain available at USAHockeyNTDP.com/tix.