Photo by Rena Laverty
The U.S. National Under-17 Team defeated the Youngstown Phantoms, 5-3, on Friday evening at USA Hockey Arena. Led by three-point nights from Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Gracyn Sawchyn (Chaska, Minn.), the U17s finished out their last home game triumphant.
Perreault opened scoring early just 46 seconds into the period. After a turnover by Youngstown behind the Team USA blue line, Sawchyn grabbed the puck in open ice and carried it out to the neutral zone. On the attack, Sawchyn, Danny Nelson (Maple Grove, Minn.) and Perreault skated up the ice for a 3-on-2. Perreault passed it up to Sawchyn, who sent it through the slot and redirected it into the net on the backhand.
Youngstown’s William Whitelaw scored halfway through the first on the power play to tie the game at 1-1.
After a battle at the blue line to regain possession, Nelson put the U17s back on top with just three and a half minutes to go in the period. Perreault battled for the puck along the boards with a Phantoms defender and was able to push the puck back into the offensive zone. Nelson then fired a shot from above the faceoff circles to make it a 2-1 game, notching his 10th point in as many games for Team USA.
Sawychn scored halfway through the second to put the Under-17s up 3-1. Nelson muscled the puck out from behind the net to send it to where Sawchyn was waiting in the slot. After the Youngstown goaltender denied his initial shot on net, Sawchyn collected the rebound in the crease and netted it for a two-goal lead.
Youngstown narrowed the lead back to one at the end of the middle frame with Kenta Isogai scoring to make it 3-2. Grant Porter then tied the game for the Phantoms at the start of the third.
Will Vote (Arlington, Mass.) scored with 1:40 left in the third and put Team USA back on top, 4-3. Carter Slaggert (South Bend, Ind.) nabbed the puck in the corner and passed it to Alex Weiermair (Los Angeles, Calif.), who floated it across the crease. Vote’s wrist shot buried the puck in the right top corner for the game-winning goal. Perreault buried an empty netter, assisted by Sawchyn, with just over a minute to go to secure a 5-3 victory.
Carsen Musser (Sherburn, Minn.) finished the night with 21 saves on 24 shots with 59:46 minutes played.
The U17s will conclude their 2021-22 regular season tomorrow night with an away game against the Youngstown Phantoms. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. ET.