DUBUQUE, Iowa – Despite goals from Ryan Chesley (Mahtomedi, Minn.) and Devin Kaplan (Bridgewater, N.J.), the U.S. National Under-17 Team's comeback in the third period was not enough to defeat the Dubuque Fighting Saints as the team fell, 4-2, Saturday evening at Mystique Community Ice Center.
The Fighting Saints capitalized at the 8:13 mark of the opening period to take a 1-0 lead, before scoring five minutes later to extend the advantage to 2-0 heading into the first intermission.
The second period saw the U.S. face 20 shots, but goaltender Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J.) held strong in the net, stopping all 20 chances to keep it a 2-0 game with one period to play.
Chesley initiated the comeback in the opening moments of the third period, scoring on a breakaway during 4-on-4 to cut Dubuque's lead to 2-1. After Tyler Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) forced a Dubuque skater to turn the puck over at the defensive blue line, the defenseman picked up the loose puck and sped up the ice before slotting a shot past Fighting Saints netminder Lukas Parik.
At the 12:33 mark of the stanza, Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) blocked a Dubuque shot in the defensive zone before carrying the puck up the zone and feeding Kaplan a pass, who fired the puck past Parik to knot things up.
The Fighting Saints responded moments later to regain a one-goal advantage, and despite a pair of quality chances and an extra attacker via an empty net, the U.S. could not find the equalizer.
Dubuque rounded out the contest with an empty-net goal to defeat the U.S., 4-2.
The U17s return to the ice next weekend against the Youngstown Phantoms in the team's final weekend of USHL Regular Season play. Both games are slated for 7:05 p.m. ET start at the Covelli Centre.