Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. – The U.S. Under-17 National Team defeated Madison, 4-2, in the first of two games this weekend at USA Hockey Arena. James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) recorded two assists and Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) scored his 25th goal of the season to help secure the victory.
Eiserman opened the scoring for Team USA, 7:44 into the first period. Hagens carried the puck through the neutral zone and passed it off to Eiserman at the left faceoff circle. The Minnesota commit picked his spot and wired a wrist-shot past the Capitols’ netminder, Rastislav Elias. Charlie Pardue (Winnetka, Ill.) nearly made it a 2-0 game in the final minutes with a breakaway chance but Elias blocked it aside to keep the U.S. up one after 20.
Christian Humphreys (Pittsburgh, Pa.) extended the U17’s lead midway through the second period with the help from Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.) and Noah Lapointe (Hinsdale, Ill.). Stiga picked up the puck right outside the Madison blueline and sent a cross-ice pass to Lapointe who quickly tapped it up to the eventual goal scorer. Humphreys chipped the puck around the Capitols defenseman, skated in on a breakaway and snapped a shot over Elias’ glove.
The Capitols got on the board early in the third period to make it a 2-1 game. Seconds after a power play expired, Quinn Finley fired a shot on net and Nathan Lewis redirected it off of his skate and into the net.
Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) answered with a deflection of his own two minutes later to restore the two-goal lead for Team USA. Lucas Van Vliet (Livonia, Mich.) missed the net and the shot wrapped around the boards to Logan Hensler (Woodbury, Minn.) who then put a shot on net. Plante got a stick on it right in front of the crease and the puck found the back of the net.
Miko Mattika responded for Madison with his 10th goal of the season at 12:36 to make it a one-goal game.
Brendan McMorrow (Lakeville, Minn.) added an empty-net goal with :16 seconds remaining to seal the 4-2 win for Team USA.
Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced in his first start for the U17s this season.
The Under-17 Team will finish out their home series tomorrow against the Capitols at 7:00 p.m. ET. Tomorrow’s game can be streamed free on USA Hockey TV. For tickets, visit the USA Hockey Arena box office, call 734-453-8400 or click here.