YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Led by a pair of goals from Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Frank Nazar III (Mount Clemens, Mich.), the U.S. National Under-17 Team bounced back from Thursday's loss to the Youngstown Phantoms, skating to a 7-4 victory to even the series at 1-1 Friday night at the Covelli Centre.
The contest saw three goals scored in the first 3:30 of the opening period. Youngstown struck first 1:16 in to take a 1-0 lead, before Nazar notched his first goal of the night after tipping shot from Tyler Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) to knot the game up.
Gauthier fired a pass from Devin Kaplan (Bridgewater, N.J.) past Phantoms goaltender Colin Purcell to give Team USA its first lead of the night.
The period saw more back-and-forth scoring, including Nazar's second goal of the night, and concluded in a 3-3 tie heading into the first intermission.
Charlie Leddy (Fairfield, Conn.) scored his first goal in an NTDP sweater 2:06 into the second period to give the U.S. a 4-3 advantage before Cruz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) and Daniel Sambuco (Springfield, Pa.) stretched the lead to 6-3 with 3:22 to play.
Youngstown found the back of the net with just over a minute remaining in the middle frame to make it a 6-4 game with one period to play.
Gauthier netted his second tally off a feed from Seamus Casey (Estero, Fla.) to extend the advantage to 7-4 2:41 into the final period and put the game out of reach.
Cameron Korpi (South Lyon, Mich.) stopped 22 of 26 shots he faced.
The U.S. returns to the ice Saturday at the Covelli Centre to round out their USHL Regular Season slate against the Phantoms. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. ET and the game can be viewed live on HockeyTV.com.