NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The U.S. National Under-18 Team received goals from defensmen Lane Hutson (North Barrington, Ill.) and Ryan Chesley (Mahtomedi, Minn.), but fell to the Merrimack Warriors by an 8-2 final Sunday afternoon at Lawler Rink in Massachusetts.
The Warriors kicked the scoring off quickly as Alex Jefferies ran a 2-on-1 and fired over the shoulder of Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J.) just 89 seconds into the afternoon's game. Ben Brar doubled the Merrimack lead when he batted home a feed from Mark Hillier before the halfway mark of the first.
Jefferies added his second of the afternoon with a sharp-angled shot from the right wing just over five minutes into the second period to make it a 3-0 Warriors lead. Reagan Kimmens made it four in a row for the home squad as he took a spinning pass from Jordan Seyfert and beat Muszelik with a quick shot.
Hutson put the U18s on the board with a blast from the right point on a 5-on-3 advantage. Team USA fired the puck around in the offensive end and Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) sent it to Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) who found Hutson for the one-timer to make it a 4-1 game.
The U18s cut the lead to two again off the stick of Chesley at 12:17 of the second. Merrimack goaltender Hugo Ollas tried to clear the puck around the boards, but Chesley picked it and fired his shot before Ollas was settled back in net to cut the lead to 4-2. Howard was credited with an assist on the goal to give him a multi-point game.
Mac Welsher planted himself in front of the net and converted on a nice set-up from Matt Copponi to restore the three-goal lead for the Warrios late in the middle period.
Adam Arvedson added a power-play goal for Merrimack in the third, Kimmens potted an empty-netter and Zach Uens scored as time expired for the 8-2 final in favor of the Warriors.
The Under-18 Team is back in action Wednesday morning when they host the Muskegon Lumberjacks for a Kid's Day game at 10:30 a.m. at USA Hockey Arena.