PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) netted the 2021 Teddy Bear Toss goal, but the U.S. National Under-18 Team eventually fell in overtime to the Youngstown Phantoms, 3-2, Saturday evening at USA Hockey Arena.
Youngstown's Evan Werner tallied the lone goal of the opening period when he put a one-timer through the legs of USA's Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J.) on the power play at 15:10 of the first.
In the first minute of the second period, Adam Ingram drove past the defense and put a backhand attempt by Muszelik to extend the Youngstown lead to 2-0.
Team USA netted the Teddy Bear Toss goal at 5:52 when Howard converted off a beautiful set-up from Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.). The University of Minnesota commit took a pass from Lane Hutson (North Barrington, Ill.) and drove the right wing before going cross-ice for a Howard one-timer to bring the score to 2-1.
Gauthier evened the game just past the halfway mark of the period when he received a Hutson pass at the right circle and ripped his shot through the five-hole of Phantoms netminder Kyle Chauvette. Devin Kaplan (Bridgewater, N.J.) picked up the secondary helper on the game-tying score.
Both sides had a plethora of chances in the final five minutes of regulation but Chauvette and Muszelik turned aside all attempts in the final period.
Youngstown's Trey Taylor converted on a 2-on-1 less than a minute into overtime to give Youngstown the extra point.
Muszelik finished the night with 21 saves for Team USA.
The Under-18 Team is off for Christmas break before returning to USA Hockey Arena on December 29. They'll continue the Kroger College Series with a matchup against Augsburg University with puck drop set for 7:00 p.m.