Photo by Matthew Murnaghan / Hockey Canada Images
LANGLEY, British Columbia – Behind two goals apiece from James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.), the U.S. National Under-17 Team defeated Canada Red, 5-2, Monday night inside the Langley Events Centre at the 2022 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) put the attack on early with a hard shot from the face-off circle, but Canada Red's starting netminder Chase Wutzke came up with the save. Following Ziemer's chance, the U.S. upped the pressure with an extended keep in the zone, generating several good looks but couldn't find the back of the net.
The U.S. did take the momentum and converted minutes later off the tape of Christian Humphreys (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Austin Baker (White Lake, Mich.) raced across the blue line with the puck and chipped it towards the net while Lucas Van Vliet (Livonia, Mich.) was crashing it. Wutzke made the initial save but gave up a rebound chance where Humphreys came streaking in and tapped it in with 9:19 to go.
Team USA tallied one more before the first 20 expired with Eiserman netting his eighth goal of the tournament. On the power play, Hagens won the offensive-zone draw and pushed it back to Cole Hutson (Barrington, Ill.) who dashed towards the slot. Hutson quickly put the puck on the tape of Eiserman on the wing who found twine with 2:23 remaining.
The U.S. nearly potted one more with under 10 seconds to go. Charlie Pardue (Winnetka, Ill.) ripped a shot from the slot, followed by Humphreys looking for his second goal off a rebound, but Wutzke slid towards the post to deny the Team USA's third.
Canada packed it in with a plethora of scoring chances early but Team USA's starting netminder Jack Parsons (Cortland, N.Y.) stayed calm in net and blocked aside 14 shots in the middle frame.
The U.S. was slowed down offensively with only four shots on goal, but Hagens made one of those shots count. Ziemer kept with a puck that was nearly poked away and found Eiserman across the blue line. Eiserman skated around a Canadian defenseman and passed it to Hagens who netted his first of the game and second of the tournament.
Parsons shutout bid came to an end during four-on-four play 3:11 into the third. A U.S. defensive-zone turnover placed the puck on the blade of Canada's Berkly Catton who scored. Canada Red added another, this time on the power play, as Porter Martone sent one along the ice from the top of the face-off circle with 10:45 to go.
Eiserman gave the U.S. some room to breath with 4:25 to go. Hagens broke up a pass in the defensive zone and banked it off the boards to Eiserman. He speedily made his way into the zone and created his own rebound opportunity before he cleaned it up to regain a two-goal lead.
Hagens tallied his second of the game with the Canadian net empty to secure the win.
Parsons, who was named Team USA's Best Player, stopped 25 shots faced.
The Under-17 Team continues preliminary-round play tomorrow against Canada Black. Puck drop is set for 10:00 p.m. ET and can be streamed live here.