MIDDLETON, Wis. - Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) recorded a goal and added four assists to become the sixth player in NTDP history to hit the 100-point plateau as the U.S. National Under-18 Team topped the Madison Capitols by an 8-1 final Saturday night in Wisconsin.
Perreault registered his fourth game with five-or-more points this year to move his 2022-23 total to 102 points, tied with Patrick Kane (2005-06) for the fifth most points in an NTDP single season.
The U.S. jumped out to a 1-0 lead off a quick wrister from Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.), his 51st of the season. Oliver Moore (Mounds View, Minn.) and James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) set him up along the right wing where he sidestepped a defender and put his shot far-side past Rastislav Elias for a 1-0 U18 lead.
With 33 seconds to play in the first, Danny Nelson (Maple Grove, Minn.) doubled the lead to 2-0 into the first break. From the right point, Drew Fortescue (Pearl River, N.Y.) found a cutting Nelson, who shifted the puck to his forehand and put his shot over the shoulder of Elias for his 16th of the season. Aram Minnetian (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) found Fortescue to pick up the secondary helper.
Zeev Buium (San Diego, Calif.) netted Team USA's first power-play goal of the evening with a wrist-shot from the left point at 5:35 of the middle period. Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) and Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) set him up on his fourth score of the season.
Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) redirected a perfect pass from Perreault to stretch the lead to four for the U18s just past the midway mark. Smith led them up the ice to pick up the second assist.
The U18s were the beneficiary of a good bounce to extend the advantage to five as Cole Hutson (Barrington, Ill.) got credit for the goal that bounced off a Capitols defender. The defenseman drove the puck up ice, shifted it off to Beckett Hendrickson (Minnetonka, Minn.) at the left wing and took the return pass heading towards the net. He attempted a centering feed that went off the defense and in to give Team USA a 5-0 lead.
Eiserman collected his second of the night as he batted home a Perreault centering feed before the close of the middle frame to give the U18s six straight after 40 minutes.
Smith and Perreault added scores in the final period to push the Team USA margin to 8-0, but Max Nagel netted late for Madison to ruin Trey Augustine's (South Lyon, Mich.) shutout bid.
Augustine was outstanding as he made 22 saves to shine his record to 21-0-2 on the season.
The U18s come home to Michigan as they get ready for a home-and-home set with the Muskegon Lumberjacks next weekend. Friday night's game is at Trinity Health Arena with a 7:00 p.m. puck drop in Muskegon.