JANESVILLE, Wis. - The U.S. National Under-17 Team saw three players collect their first NTDP markers, but fell to the Janesville Jets by a 7-3 final Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin.
The U.S. got on the board first courtesy of a great individual effort from Cole Hutson (Barrington, Ill.). The defenseman took a drop-pass from Kristian Epperson (Mequon, Wis.) and cruised into the offensive zone. Hutson charged the left lane and fired a quick shot from the left circle that snuck through Jets goaltender, Selby Warren, to give the U17s a 1-0 lead. Logan Hensler (Woodbury, Minn.) collected the extra helper on the game's opening goal.
Janesville used a one-timer from defenseman Will Troutwine late in the opening frame to even the score heading into the first intermission.
The Jets took their first lead of the weekend off a Mack Keryluk power-play goal midway through the contest. He took a one-timer from the slot off one knee off a nice set-up from Gabriel Lundberg to give Janesville a 2-1 advantage.
The home team doubled the lead shortly after off a one-touch redirection from Kyle Kudrna and added another as Lundberg was first to a loose puck and ripped a quick wrister from the inside of the left circle to extend the lead to 4-1.
The U17s cut into the deficit with James Hagens' (Hauppauge, N.Y.) first goal in a USA sweater. John Whipple (Minnetonka, Minn.) fed the puck up ice to Brendan McMorrow (Lakeville, Minn.), who left it for Hagens and dashed across the ice to set up a 2-on-1. Hagens collected, delayed and put his shot through the five-hole to make it 4-2.
Kamil Bednarik (Elmhurt, Ill.) put Team USA within a goal when he redirected a point shot from Dakoda Rheaume-Mullen (Northville, Mich.) late in the middle period. Cole Eiserman's (Newburyport, Mass.) centering feed in front of the cage didn't connect, but Rheaume-Mullen collected the puck and put a shot towards a scramble in front of the net. Bednarik got a piece of the rubber before it went in to make it a one-goal contest after 40 minutes.
Janesville notched the first goal of the final period when Lundberg jammed home the loose rubber after a goal-mouth scramble to make it 5-3 and grab his second score of the afternoon.
Lundberg completed the hat-trick and Kudrna added his second late in the game for the 7-3 final.
The Under-17 Team will hit the ice next weekend at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota. They'll begin the weekend with an 8:45 ET Friday night contest against the Johnstown Tomahawks at Blaine's Super Rink.