UTICA, N.Y. – Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) notched his second hat trick of the season to lead Team USA's scoring effort, but the U.S. National Under-17 Team fell, 6-5, to Utica College in the 13th installment of the 2020-21 Kroger College Series Thursday evening at Adirondack Bank Center.
The Pioneers scored a pair of back-to-back goals in the opening five minutes of the game to take a quick 2-0 lead.
Howard extended his team leading goal tally to 19 at the midway point of the game, scoring off a pass from Charlie Leddy (Fairfield, Conn.) to cut the Pioneers' lead to 2-1.
Utica answered at the 14:12 mark, but Howard once again found the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game with 13 seconds remaining in the opening period.
After a quiet beginning to the second period, Maddox Fleming (Rochester, Minn.) ripped a shot from the hash marks past Utica goaltender Sean Dickson to tie the game at three goals apiece.
The Pioneers regained a one-goal lead at the 14:38 mark, taking a 4-3 lead into the second intermission.
Utica 5:48 into the third period to stretch the lead to 5-3, but Howard completed his second hat trick of the year off a feed from Frank Nazar III (Mount Clemens, Mich.) to pull the U.S. back within one, and Seamus Casey (Estero, Fla.) tied the game with a close-range shot four minutes later.
The U17s had a pair of quality chances to put away the puck on the power play, the Pioneers held strong defensively, and scored on a power play of their own to earn a 6-5 victory.
Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J.) made 28 saves in goal for the U.S.