MUSKEGON, Mich. - The U.S. National Under-17 Team used four third-period goals, two from Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.), to come back and beat the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 6-4, Friday night at Mercy Health Arena.
Team USA got to within a goal at 4-3 when Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) sniped a wrister from the left faceoff circle early in the third period. McGroarty led him into the zone while Devin Kaplan (Bridgewater, N.J.) also picked up an assist.
McGroarty followed with a pair of markers to tie the game and take the lead less than two minutes apart. His first was on a breakaway off a feed from Gauthier where he deked and finished forehand. He followed with a second-chance shot after his first was denied to give Team USA a 5-4 lead just more than ten minutes into the period.
Logan Cooley (West Mifflin, Pa.) capped the scoring when he converted on a breakaway of his own less than two minutes later. Cooley potted his backhand attempt after Maddox Fleming (Rochester, Minn.) spurred him into the offensive zone.
After the Lumberjacks jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the opening period, Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) scored his first of the night off a sharp-angled shot from the right wing. Seamus Casey (Estero, Fla.) and Brady Berard (East Greenwich, R.I.) assisted on the goal.
After Muskegon scored to go up 3-1, Snuggerud added his second of the night off a centering feed from Frank Nazar III (Mount Clemens, Mich.). The score was Snuggerud's 12th of the season.
The Lumberjacks answered with another prior to the close of the period to take a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes before Team USA dominated the final period.
Dylan Silverstein (Calabasas, Calif.) was solid in net as he made 32, including a perfect 13-for-13 on 'Jacks attempts in the third.