Photo by Rena Laverty
Plymouth, Mich. – The U.S. National Under-17 Team fell to the Chicago Steel, 8-3, Friday evening inside USA Hockey Arena in its season home opener. Team USA was led by Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) who scored a pair of goals on the night.
Eiserman got the game started 6:13 into the frame, on the power play, for the U17s first goal at home. James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) won the offensive zone draw and pushed the puck back to Cole Hutson (Barrington, Ill.) on the blue line. Hutson fed it back to Hagens who sauced a cross-ice pass to Eiserman at the face-off dot and beat Chicago’s starting netminder Jack Stark.
Chicago answered nearly a minute later with back-to-back goals and added two more late in the period. Forward Jayden Perron found the back of the net from the slot, followed by defenseman Chris Able who snuck one in from the face-off circle.
Team USA wasn’t done scoring in the first though as Charlie Pardue (Winnetka, Ill.) converted with an extra skater with less than five minutes to go. Attacking in the offensive zone, Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) skated towards the wing and found Pardue in the slot who blasted a shot towards the back of the net to make it a two-goal game after 20.
Chicago came out of the gates quick and scored a pair of goals 1:43 apart, after Charlie Major scored his first of the year and Perron netted his second of the game. Eiserman nearly cut into the lead at the 10:11 mark after a forced turnover opened a breakaway opportunity for the winger. Stark was able to get a piece of the shot to deny Eiserman and keep it 6-2.
Chicago tabbed one more before the second period expired off a tap in from the crease by the blade of defenseman Hunter Hady.
Eiserman potted his second of the game 6:33 into the third with help from Dakoda Rheaume-Mullen (Northville, Mich.). A slick move from Rheaume-Mullen split the Steel defense with a slick move and dished a pass to Eiserman at the face-off dot and found twine. The Steel added one more in the final minute of the game to make it 8-3.
Jack Parsons (Cortland, N.Y.) started in net for Team USA and stopped 22 shots faced. Nick Kempf (Morton Grove, Ill.) came in for Parsons and played 24:35, stopping five shots.
The Under-17 Team returns to the ice tomorrow to round out its weekend series against the Chicago Steel. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. ET and can be streamed on HockeyTV. For tickets, click here.