YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The U.S. National Under-18 Team used goals from six different skaters to win their 10th consecutive game as they topped the Youngstown Phantoms, 6-3, Friday evening at Covelli Centre.
For the fifth time in eight games, Dylan Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) put Team USA on the board as he netted his 18th goal of the season at 4:02 of the first period. Jack Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) battled behind the boards for a loose puck and fed Duke across the crease for the goal. Ryan St. Louis (Riverside, Conn.) picked up the extra assist on the 1-0 goal.
Aidan Hreschuk (Long Beach, Calif.) extended the Team USA lead with a power-play goal off a quick snap-shot from between the circles early in the middle frame. Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Va.) slid the defenseman the pass while St. Louis made it a multi-point night with another assist.
Youngstown cut the lead back to one but Gilmartin regained the two-goal advantage with his sixth tally of the season before the close of the period. Andre Gasseau (Garden Grove, Calif.) picked up the puck after a Phantoms turnover and found Gilmartin down the middle of the ice, where he flipped a quick backhand shot in for a 3-1 lead.
After the Phantoms closed the gap to 3-2, St. Louis connected on the power play with a laser of a shot from the right faceoff circle. He was set up by Hreschuk and Ty Gallagher (Clarkston, Mich.) on his 11th score of the season.
Youngstown's Jack Silich netted the next goal to once again make it a one-goal game at 4-3, but Team USA answered with a pair before the final buzzer.
Red Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.) was tripped unabated to an empty net and was awarded a goal with under a minute remaining, his 11th of the season. Justin Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) capped the scoring when he feathered in a shot off a 2-on-1 with Gasseau with 18 seconds remaining.
Gibson Homer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) made 19 saves as he pushed his record to 13-3-0 on the season.
The two sides will square off twice more this weekend, with all the games from Covelli Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET tomorrow night in Youngstown.