Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - The U.S. National Under-18 Team used goals from four different skaters and a 25-save performance from Gibson Homer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) to take down the Green Bay Gamblers, 4-1, Monday night at USA Hockey Arena.
Team USA grabbed the lead late in the first courtesy of a Sean Behrens' (Barrington, Ill.) power-play goal as he found the back of the net for the second straight game. Dylan Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) set up Behrens for a short-side shot with a cross crease pass from down low. Sasha Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) collected the second helper on the game's opening score.
The U18s doubled their lead midway through the second. Pastujov let a one-timer go from the top of the slot beating Green Bay’s netminder, Matthew Davis. Logan Cooley (West Mifflin, Pa.) set up the score while Behrens got an assist for a multi-point night. Cooley’s assist put him on the scoring sheet for the sixth straight game and extended his home points streak to nine games.
The U18s added another goal 26 seconds later as Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Va). found open space in the slot to snap home a pass from Justin Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.). Red Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.) made a nice play to keep the puck in the offensive zone and picked up an assist.
Green Bay got on the board late in the second to make it 3-1 after 40 minutes.
Team USA cushioned their lead in the third with a textbook tip-in by Ty Murchison (Corona, Calif.) off a slick set-up from Savage.
Homer stopped 25 of 26 shots as the U18s improved to 9-0-0 in mid-week games.
The U18s travel to Green Bay and Dubuque for a trio of games before returning home the following weekend at USA Hockey Arena.