Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) netted the overtime game winner :19 seconds into the extra frame as the U.S. National Under-17 Team skated past the Steel, 5-4, Sunday evening inside USA Hockey Arena.
It was a quick start to the game for Team USA as they put themselves on the board 1:29 in. An offensive-zone draw won by Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) was sent to Dakoda Rheaume-Mullen (Northville, Mich.) and down to Shane Vansaghi (St. Louis, Mo.). At the goal line, Vansaghi dished the puck to Eiserman at the point who ripped a shot on net and initially saved, but Vansaghi was there to clean up the rebound.
The U.S. extended their lead to a pair near the midway point of the first on Sam Laurila’s (Moorhead, Minn.) second tally of the year. John Whipple (Minnetonka, Minn.) corralled the puck at the blue line and fired it over to Laurila who tee’d up a blast that went past Chicago’s starting netminder Christian Manz.
Team USA wasn’t done scoring in the first as Cole Hutson (Barrington, Ill.) put himself on the scoresheet with 4:31 to go in the period. Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) dashed across the blue line prior to the puck falling on the tape of Kristian Epperson (Mequon, Wis.). Epperson put one on net that Manz couldn’t handle and created a rebound opportunity for Hutson who buried it.
Ziemer made it four unanswered as he hit the double-digit goal mark with 9:00 to play in the second. Epperson skated down the wing and put on the brakes before he found Ziemer in the slot for the tally. Moments later, Chicago's Jayden Perron put his team on the board with a shot from the slot.
More than half of the third went by before Steel forward Mack Celebrini cut the lead down to a pair. It was all Chicago in the third as they went on to score two more, with Celebrini picking up his second along with Michael Emerson recording a goal to force overtime.
It wasn't long before Team USA sealed the deal though, as Eiserman found the back of the net :19 seconds into extra time after he sped into the offensive-zone and ripped a shot for the U17s' second-straight overtime win.
Jack Parsons (Cortland, N.Y.) started in net for Team USA and stopped 26 shots.
The Under-17 Team returns to USA Hockey Arena this Friday (Feb. 3) for a single game against the Madison Capitols before their international break. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET and can be streamed free on USA Hockey TV. For tickets, visit the USA Hockey Arena box office, call 734-453-8400 or click here.