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U18s Sweep Weekend Set With Muskegon, 8-4

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 03/12/22, 9:30PM EST


Eight players record multi-point nights for Team USA

MUSKEGON, Mich. - Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) had three assists and seven other skaters recorded multi-point nights as the U.S. National Under-18 Team took down the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 8-4 for the second consecutive evening, Saturday night to complete the weekend sweep over the 'Jacks. 

Team USA got on the board first courtesy of a put-back goal from Brady Berard (East Greenwich, R.I.). The Providence commit won an offensive-zone draw back to Ryan Chesley (Mahtomedi, Minn.), who put a shot from the right point on net. After it was stopped by Chase Clark, Berard found the rebound and put it in for a 1-0 lead at 2:29.

Box Score

Chesley doubled the lead before the end of the first when he potted a screen shot from the point with just three seconds to play in the period. Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.) found Lane Hutson (North Barrington, Ill.) for the first shot from the left wing. The attempt went wide and caromed around the boards to Chesley who fired home for his seventh goal over his last seven games. 

The Lumberjacks evened the game with a pair of special-teams goals in the middle period. Joey Larson netted a shorthanded goal after a Team USA defensive-zone turnover and Owne Mehlenbacher added a power-play goal to tie the game with 6:40 to play in the second. 

The U18s responded with a pair of power-play markers in less than a minute to take a 4-2 lead. Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) potted his one-timer from the left circle after a great passing sequence from Howard and Frank Nazar (Mount Clemens, Mich.).

On the same major power play, Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) rifled in his shot from the left circle to double the USA lead. Cutter Gauthier (Scottdale, Ariz.) moved the puck to Hunter Brzustewicz (Washington Twp., Mich.) at the point who found Cooley for his second goal in as many nights. 

Muskegon's Jacob Guevin cut the deficit back to one with his fifth score of the season late in the second. 

Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) gave the U18s their third two-goal lead of the night when he sniped his wrister short-side from the right wing at 7:18 of the third. Howard collected the loose puck and snapped a long stretch pass to spur Smith where he netted for his 26th of the season. 

Team USA added another power-play score, their third of the game, this one from Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.) to cap the game's scoring. Brzustewicz moved the puck to Cooley at the left circle. He centered a feed to the USA captain in the slot who settled the puck and fired his shot top-shelf for his 20th score of the season and a 6-3 U18 lead.

Larson cut into the lead to make it 6-4 with his second of the night, but Hutson fired a shot 200 feet into an empty net and Smith added his second of the night as time expired for an 8-4 final.

Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J.) picked up the win in net for Team USA as he bettered his record to 19-4-2 on the campaign. He finished with 18 saves on the evening after Dylan Silverstein (Calabasas, Calif.) made 11 stops during his tenure. 

The U18s return home to USA Hockey Arena as they host Heroes Appreciation Weekend on March 19 against Cedar Rapids. Tickets are available at or by calling 734-453-6400. 

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