Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. — The U.S. National Under-17 Team defeated the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 4-3, Friday night at USA Hockey Arena. Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) and Lucas Van Vilet (Livonia, Mich.) both notched three points in the victory, with Plante scoring his first goal of the year.
Team USA's starting netminder Jack Parsons (Cortland, N.Y.) was tested early as a defensive zone turnover put a Cedar Rapids forward all alone in the crease. Parsons stretched out and made a pair of saves to keep the game knotted at zero early. Minutes later, Plante found the puck in front of the net and secured his first goal of the season off a traveling pass from Van Vilet. Van Vilet stole the puck along the boards, sped towards the Cedar Rapids net and sent a backhander to Plante who finished off the play, making it 1-0 USA at 7:47 in the first period.
Scooping up another point and extending the lead to 2-0, Van Vilet picked the puck up from Plante in the neutral zone and netted his fifth goal of the year at 14:56. His wrist shot from just outside the right faceoff circle beat Cedar Rapids’ goaltender Bruno Bruveris on the glove side.
Cedar Rapids answered back in the second period, tallying three goals — two scored by forward Ryan Walsh and one by Dylan Hryckowian. A rebound opprotunity made its way to the back of the net and broke the 2-2 tie, putting Cedar Rapids up by one with 2:49 remaining in the middle stanza.
After a scoreless first half of the third period, Brendan McMorrow (Lakeville, Minn.) notched his first of the game to tie things up on a pass from Van Vliet who sent it over from the right faceoff circle. McMorrow dangled his way around his opponents and sent a wrister top shelf while falling towards the ice.
Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) put the U17s in the lead less than one minute later, tapping in a shot from Noah Lapointe (Hinsdale, Ill.) that beat Bruveris on his right side. Lapointe skated the puck into the offensive zone along the boards and fired a wrist shot that Eiserman capitalized on for his 24th goal of the season, resulting in a 4-3 U17 lead with 6:56 to go in the last period.
Cedar Rapids gave one final push, skating 6-on-4 in the final minute, but Parsons came up with a few key saves to lead Team USA to the 4-3 win.
Parsons finished off the night with 31 saves on 34 shots for Team USA.
The Under-17 Team returns to the ice tomorrow to round out its weekend series against the RoughRiders. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. ET and can be streamed on USA Hockey TV. For tickets, visit the USA Hockey Arena box office, call 734-453-8400 or click here.