MIDLETON, Wis. - The U.S. National Under-17 Team came back from two goals down to tie the game but could never take the lead in a 6-3 loss to the Madison Capitols Friday night in Wisconsin. Will Vote (Arlington, Mass.) collected a goal and assist to lead the U17s.
After Madison's Kyle Kukkonen gave the Capitols an early lead, U17 forward Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) evened the score with a snipe from the slot. Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) forced a Madison defensive-zone turnover and backhanded a pass to Smith who fired top-corner for his 12th score of the season.
The Capitols regained the lead off a great backhand shot from Jake Dunlap and Matthew McGroarty scored off a nice setup from behind the net to push the Madison lead to 3-1 after the fist period.
Team USA returned serve in the middle frame to even the score at 3-3 after 40 minute of play. Alex Weiermair (Los Angeles, Calif.) potted his sixth of the season off a crisp tic-tac-toe passing display from Vote and Kai Janviriya (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) to bring Team USA within one.
Vote made a great individual effort to tie the game at 15:43 of the period. After the Capitols won a draw, Vote pressured the defenseman, stole the puck and finished his breakaway attempt on the backhand to tie the game.
Kukkonen took a cross-ice pass from Nicholas Wallace and fired in for his second goal of the evening to make it a 4-3 game in favor of Madison with 8:46 to play in regulation.
Reid Pabich received a feed and made a nifty deke before finishing with the backhand to give the Caps an insurance goal with less than three minutes to play. Barrett Brooks added an empty-netter for the 6-3 final.
Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) and Michael Chambre (Fort Myers, Fla.) split the game in net for Team USA. Augustine finished with 10 saves while Chambre made four in the second half of the game.
The U17s next play Friday night in Muskegon to take on the Lumberjacks at Mercy Health Arena.