Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) recorded a team-high four points with two goals and two assists as the U.S. National Under-18 Team swept the Lindenwood Lions this weekend with a 6-1 win tonight at USA Hockey Arena.
With the win, the Under-18 Team ended its 2022-23 Kroger College Series at 16-5-1, collecting the most NCAA wins in a single season from an NTDP squad.
For the second straight night, the U18s found the back of the net in the game's opening minute. Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) whistled a one-timer past Trent Burnham off of nice passes from Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) and Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) to give the U.S. a lead 45 seconds into the game.
The U.S. added another with less than five minutes to play in the period as Perreault knocked home a second-chance opportunity. Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) found Smith for the initial shot on net and Perreault was first to the rebound for his 39th score of the season.
Oliver Moore (Mounds View, Minn.) made it three in a row for the home team as he converted eight seconds into a U18 power play 94 seconds into the middle frame. After winning the draw, Will Vote (Arlington, Mass.) gave it to Cole Hutson (Barrington, Ill.) at the point. He found Moore, who wired a wrister from the top of the left circle for a 3-0 lead.
Ryan Fine (Center Moriches, N.Y.) extended the U.S. lead after he tapped in a shot from the slot off a pretty set-up from Carter Slaggert (South Bend, Ind.). Zeev Buium's (San Diego, Calif.) pass sent Slaggert into the offensive zone where he weaved behind the Lindenwood cage and found Fine in front for the finish.
Perreault collected his second of the night, and 40th of the season, after he found the rubber off a failed Lions clearing attempt and pinpointed his shot in the top corner to make it a 5-0 game.
Sam Watson was credited with the goal that got Lindenwood on the board after an errant pass went off a U.S. skater and into their own cage to push the game to 5-1 after 40 minutes of action.
Smith pitched in the U18s' sixth of the night after a sweet toe-drag move 47 seconds into the third. Perreault and Leonard both picked up their second assists of the night to set him up.
Carsen Musser (Sherburn, Minn.) backstopped the U.S. to his 12th win of the season as he made a dozen saves on the night.
The U18s return to the ice next weekend as they travel to Green Bay for a pair of games against the Gamblers on Friday and Saturday nights at the Resch Center.