PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Led by a hat trick from Frank Nazar III (Mount Clemens, Mich.) and a six-goal scoring run in the third period, the U.S. National Under-17 Team defeated Shattuck-St Mary's, 8-2, in the first of a two-game series Friday night at USA Hockey Arena.
Seamus Casey (Estero, Fla.) and Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) also recorded three-point performances in the victory.
Nazar got the U.S. on the board midway through the opening frame, firing a feed from Howard at the backdoor past goaltender Austin Savoda to make it a 1-0 game.
The U17s took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission after Lane Hutson (Barrington, Ill.) scored off a give-and-go with Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) at the 15:08 mark of the frame.
The Sabres held strong in the middle frame, and scored a pair of goals early in the period to knot things up at two goals apiece.
At the 8:27 mark of the second period, Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J.) made a pair of stellar stops to keep the game tied heading into the second intermission.
Cruz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) took a feed from Charlie Stramel (Rosemount, Minn.) and buried the game-winning goal past Savoda to kickstart a six-goal scoring tear.
Casey added a goal to the U.S. scoresheet at the 6:06 mark of the frame, toe-dragging the puck past a Sabres defender and firing from the hashmarks to net his eighth goal of the season.
Stramel got a goal of his own before Nazar completed the hat trick with back-to-back goals to make it a 7-2 game.
Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) rounded out the scoring in the final moments of intermission, collecting a cross-ice pass from Ryan Chesley (Mahtomedi, Minn.) and sneaking a backhander high over the shoulder of Savoda to give the U.S. a 8-2 victory.
Muszelik made 18 saves to earn the win in goal for the U.S.
The U17s round out their series against the Sabres Saturday night at USA Hockey Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. ET and tickets for the game are available by visiting USAHockeyNTDP.com/tix or by calling 734-453-6400.