Photo by Michael Caples
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - The U.S. National Under-17 Team dropped the third game of their playoff series against the Cedar Rapids Roughriders, 3-1, Wednesday night at USA Hockey Arena. Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) was credited with the lone goal for Team USA which came off of a miscue in front of the Roughriders’ net.
Cedar Rapids took a 2-0 lead into the locker room after an impressive first period highlighted by a pair of goals from Martins Lavins. The forward opened the scoring 3:46 into the game on a gritty play where he fought his way to the front of the net and buried the pass from Jack Musa. Lavins’ second goal came later in the period when he deflected a shot from the point into the back of the net.
The U17s played well in the second period, but failed to score despite tripling their shot total from the first period in the first ten minutes of the second. The Roughriders ultimately took back control and extended their lead with the lone goal of the middle frame. Cedar Rapids’ captain Andy Moore hit Musa with a nice pass as he entered the offensive zone and the winger fired it into the top corner for his second of the playoffs.
Team USA cut the deficit to 3-1 on a goal credited to Plante. A Roughriders defenseman attempted a cross-ice pass from below the goal line, but the puck hit a teammate’s skate instead and was redirected into the net to end Bruno Bruveris’ shutout bid.
Jack Parsons (Cortland, N.Y.) got the start in net for Team USA and made 32 saves.
The U17s finished the season with a 36-23-2-0 record and made the playoffs for the first time since 2019. The U.S. National Under-18 Team will be back in action tomorrow morning (April 27) against Czechia in the quarterfinals of the 2023 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championships. Puck drop is set for 6:30 a.m. ET and will be streamed live on NHL Network.