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U17s Comeback for Overtime Win, 4-3, Against Fighting Saints

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 10/21/22, 10:00PM EDT


Hagens nets hat trick and game-winning goal; Eiserman records goal and three assists

Plymouth, Mich. – The U.S. National Under-17 Team defeated the Dubuque Fighting Saints, 4-3, in overtime Friday night in front of a crowd of 2,000+ inside USA Hockey Arena to take its sole game on the weekend. Team USA was led by James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) who potted the game-winning goal in overtime for a hat trick, while Cole Eiserman forced overtime with :34 seconds left in the third.

Pace of play was quick right off the jump, but strong defensive play kept the game at bay. Dubuque’s first scoring opportunity came four-on-four with a lot of ice to work with as the Fighting Saints put one on from the face-off dot. Starting U.S. netminder Nick Kempf (Morton Grove, Ill.) kept his composure and sprawled out to make the save. Nearly two minutes later, Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) forced a neutral zone turnover and was all alone in front of the net but pushed it wide.

Box Score


Kempf was tested once again with under five minutes to go and made a stick save on the goal line to rob Dubuque from its first goal. The Fighting Saints went one to get the first goal of the game though on the power play, as Nils Juntorp finished up a pass in the slot with 4:08 to go.

Team USA answered back before the first 20 expired as James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) potted his sixth of the season. Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) forced a turnover on the boards and dished it to Kristian Epperson (Mequon, Wis.) who found an open Hagens and put it behind starting Dubuque netminder Paxton Geisel for the tie.

Just like the first, play went back-and-forth on both sides of the ice, and it was Dubuque, yet again, that broke the tie. Midway through the second, on the power play, James Reeder finished off a feed from behind the net for his first goal of the year.

The U17s came back and none other than Hagens was the one to tie the game back up, late in the second. Eiserman, from the blue line, found Hagens who was barreling towards the net and got his blade on it to redirect into the back of the net. Jack Parsons (Cortland, N.Y.) came in halfway through the second and shut down the Fighting Saints, keeping it tied after 40 minutes.

Another intense 17 minutes was played in the third with Team USA having the edge in scoring opportunities but neither team pushed one through in that span. Dubuque did make it 3-2 on the power play again as Juntorp potted his second of the game at the 16:54 mark which looked like the game winner.

However, with the goalie pulled, Team USA came out and tied it up with just over :30 to go. Eiserman and Hagens dashed towards the net while Hagens put one on net and generated the rebound. Eiserman was right at the doorstep and tapped it in to force overtime.

The U17s controlled overtime with multiple chances, but it was Hagens who capped off the hat trick with an overtime winner with 1:02 to go. Eiserman skated around the Dubuque defense and crashed the net with Hagens tailing and like the game-tying goal, Hagens poked in a rebound to complete the comeback and secure the win. 

Kempf started in net for Team USA and stopped 12 shots faced. Parson came in midway through the second period and stopped 15 shots faced.

The Under-17 Team gets next weekend off before they head to Vancouver to compete internationally for the first time this year at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

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