Photo by Ronald Hansel, Juniorský hokej
ROMANSHORN, Switzerland - Team USA saw six different goal scorers, with Brendan McMorrow (Lakeville, Minn.) potting two, as the National Under-17 Team beat Switzerland, 7-3, inside EZO Eissportzentrum Oberthurgau to improve to 3-0-0-0 at the Five Nations Tournament. Seven players recorded multiple points, while Cole Hutson (Barrington, Ill.), Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.), Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) and John Whipple (Minnetonka, Minn.) all recorded at least three points.
Team USA went down a skater but still managed to put their right foot forward as Brendan McMorrow (Lakeville, Minn.) broke open the scoring with a shorthanded goal. Whipple jabbed at the puck in the defensive zone to push it up the ice for James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.). Hagens controlled the puck and connected with McMorrow who was striding through the neutral zone with speed. The lone Swiss defender hustled to catch up, but McMorrow fired a breakaway shot past Switzerland's starting netminder Christian Kirsch for the lead.
Team USA checked off the special teams goal box as Hutson tallied on the power play 4:13 into the second. Eiserman retrieved a puck banked off the boards at the blue line and fed it to Ziemer down low. As he looked for an open man, Ziemer snapped the puck towards the slot which pinballed off some players and shot out to Hutson up top. After a quick move towards the slot, Hutson put it on net and whizzed past Kirsch for the goal.
Eiserman kept the train rolling and netted the team's second-straight power-play goal in the second. Near the midway point of the frame, Hagens and Hutson went back-and-forth with the puck before Hagens managed the puck on his stick and surveyed the ice. An open Eiserman in the opposing face-off dot caught Hagens attention where Eiserman tee'd up a one-timer and put it through.
Team USA completed the trifecta and secured their first even-strength goal of the contest off the blade of Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.). Eiserman sped around the back of the Swiss net and connected with Whipple at the blue line. Whipple wound up for a slapshot on net as Plante zoned in on the puck and redirected it into the back of the net with 4:28 to go in the second.
Switzerland cut it within two shortly after and grabbed two goals before the teams went into second intermission. Lenny Giger kept the puck in the zone and snuck around the net with the puck for a wraparound goal with 2:37 to go. Switzerland's second came with :16 ticks left on the clock, shorthanded, after a mishandled puck turned into a two-on-one. Jamiro Reber elected to keep the puck and fired one into the back of the net to make it 4-2 after two.
The U17s answered back in beginning of the third , :51 seconds in, as they took advantage of five-on-three action. A great display of passing was displayed on Team USA's fifth goal as each pass the team inched closer to the crease. Kamil Bednarik (Elmhurst, Ill.) tapped it to Plante in front who quickly pushed it to McMorrow in the slot who fired it home. Ziemer tacked on the sixth goal for the team, :28 seconds after their last, after Eiserman sent one on net which bounced off the netminder's pads where Ziemer was right at the door to connect with the puck and put it across the goal line.
Switzerland came back with a goal of their own to make it 6-3 when Yannik Ponzetto was on the receiving end of a one-timer pass. However, Whipple made it 7-3 once Ziemer sent him a nice backhand pass on a two-on-one with 8:43 to play for the eventual final goal.
Jack Parsons (Cortland, N.Y.) started in net for Team USA and made 18 saves.
The Under-17 Team concludes the Five Nations Tournament tomorrow against Czechia for a chance to finish undefeated and be crowned champion. Puck drop is set for 5:30 a.m. ET. Tomorrow's game can be streamed free here along with live stats found here.