Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Will Vote (Arlington, Mass.) scored two goals apiece and the U.S. National Under-18 Team used a five-goal third period to skate past the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 7-2, Wednesday morning in front of 2,083 fans at USA Hockey Arena.
Team USA jumped in front after 20 minutes with the only goal of the opening frame on a pretty play from Ryan Fine (Center Moriches, N.Y.). Forward Charlie Cerrato (Fallston, Md.) led the charge down the right wing and dropped the puck for Fine at the right point. He collected, toe-dragged around a Lumberjacks defender and flipped a shot into the top corner for a 1-0 USA lead.
Muskegon responded early in the second as William Hughes deflected a point shot from Matthew Morden on the power play to even things up at 1:08.
Right before the close of the period, Team USA found its way back on top courtesy of a man-up score of their own. Oliver Moore (Mounds View, Minn.) found Vote who was stationed just outside the crease. He made a great no-look pass to Perreault across the crease where he one-timed it in to give the U.S. its second lead of the game with 44 seconds to play.
Perreault and Moore teamed up again 29 seconds into the third period to double the U.S. advantage to 3-1. Kai Janviriya (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) found Perreault streaking down the left wing. He was tripped by a Muskegon defenseman and from his knees, slid the puck across the crease for Moore to bang home, his 15th score of the season.
The Under-18 Team made it three in a row with another power-play score from the doorstep. Zeev Buium (San Diego, Calif.) found Perreault for the initial shot and the rebound sat loose in the crease. Will Vote (Arlington, Mass.) dug it out and put it past Conor Callaghan to extend the lead.
Muskegon responded with a score from Matvei Gridin on a second-chance opportunity to cut the lead to 4-2.
In a very busy final five minutes of regulation, Team USA found the back of the net three more times. Perreault and Vote both connected for their second goals of the game while Beckett Hendrickson (Blaine, Minn.) netted the final goal of the game to give him a multi-point effort and 7-2 USA win.
Carsen Musser (Sherburn, Minn.) went the distance in net for the U18s as he turned aside 25 of 27 shots to extend his record to 9-2-0 on the campaign.
The U18s hit the road for a weekend set in Iowa. They square off Friday night with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders before finishing the weekend Saturday evening in Dubuque.