Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) scored a pair of goals while Michael Chambre (Fort Myers, Fla.) and Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) combined for a shutout in net as the U.S. National Under-18 Team blanked the Madison Capitols, 4-0, Thursday evening at USA Hockey Arena.
Neither side could find the back of the net in the opening 20 minutes thanks to a pair of solid periods from USA's Chambre and Muskegon's Mason Kucenski. U.S. forward Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) put a shot on net that Kucenski padded away to bring the shot total to 9-1 in favor of Team USA near the midway part of the frame.
The U18s killed a four-minute double-minor penalty late in regulation where Madison worked the puck around for multiple chances, all turned aside by Chambre. The period ended as shots stood at 12-7 in favor of Team USA.
After the scoreless first, the U18s didn’t waste any time getting on the board in the second period. At 1:24, Oliver Moore (Mounds View, Minn.) won an offensive-zone faceoff back to Leonard at the top of the circle, who ripped it over the goalie’s shoulder for his 26th goal of the year. The goal extended Leonard’s point streak to nine games, a season-high for the Boston College commit.
Will Vote (Arlington, Mass.) extended Team USA’s lead to 2-0 eight minutes later. The diminutive forward started the play down low in the offensive zone and sent a pass up to Zach Schulz (South Lyon, Mich.) at the point, who quickly slid the puck over to fellow Michigan native, Kai Janviriya (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.). The blueliner fired a pass toward the back post and Vote deflected it into the back of the net.
Much like he did in the middle frame, Leonard set the tone early in the final period for Team USA. Moore intercepted a pass in the defensive zone and used his speed to create space before hitting Leonard with a pass as he skated up the wing. The forward beat the Capitols’ defenseman wide and snapped a wrist-shot inside the post for his second of the game.
Paul Fischer (River Forest, Ill.) added an empty-net goal from the defensive-zone hashmarks to make it a 4-0 final score.
Chambre finished his night with with 17 stops through 40 minutes to earn his sixth win of the season while Augustine closed it out with 13 saves in the final period of regulation.
The U18s head overseas next week to compete in a Four Nations in Rauma, Finland. Their first game is scheduled for Tuesday where they will play the hosts with puck drop scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET. The tournament can be streamed online at Leijonat TV.