Photo by Rena Laverty
BLAINE, Minn. – The U.S. National Under-17 Team fell short, 7-3, to the St. Cloud Norsemen at the 2021 NAHL Showcase on Friday night.
Team USA saw early scoring opportunities in the opening frame, including a chance from Austin Burnevik (Blaine, Minn.), who on the power play, ripped a shot at the Norsemen’s netminder Ethan Dahlmeir (Lakeville, Minn.) from in front of the crease.
Shortly after, Team USA took a 1-0 advantage after Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) gained control of the puck off the boards before firing a shot that was deflected from the goalie’s pads. Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) then buried the loose puck in the net off the backside rebound.
Within a three-minute span, the Norsemen took back the lead, 2-1, off goals from Kade Peterson (Fargo, N.D) on a cross ice feed as well as Brandon Lajoie (Eagle River, Alaska) on a tic-tac-toe play by St. Cloud.
Off the drop of the second period, St. Cloud extended their lead, 3-1, as Ryan O’Neill (Roseville, Minn.) tucked one in the net on assist from Peterson and Lajoie. The Norsemen added one more goal to their lead when Nick Young (Raleigh, N.C) ripped one from the top of the left faceoff circle.
Just before the halfway mark, Team USA was able to use their power play opportunity to cut the Norsemen’s lead in half. Salvatore Guzzo (Old Tappan, N.J.) carried the puck up center ice where he got caught up with a St. Cloud defenseman. Carter Slaggert (South Bend, Ind.) scooped up the puck and slipped it in the net pact Dahlmeir’s left skate, making it 4-2.
Norsemen forward John Opilka (Effingham, Ill.), from the blueline, went top shelf to give St. Cloud a 5-2 advantage with just under eight minutes remaining in the period.
In the third period, St. Cloud’s Evan Murr (Lakeville, Minn.) notched a goal, extending their lead 6-2, on the power play with 14:25 left to go.
From the top of the offensive zone, Kai Janviriya (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) swung the puck over to the left faceoff circle for Paul Fischer (River Forest, Ill.) where he buried one glove side past the goaltender to cut St. Cloud’s lead to 6-3.
From a shot at the circle, Blake Perbix (Princeton, Minn.) found the rebound in front of the crease and sent the puck into the back of the net, securing the victory for St. Cloud.
The Under-17s are back in action on day two of the NAHL Showcase tomorrow against the Janesville Jets. Puck drop is set for 7:15 p.m. ET. All action can be seen on HockeyTV.