Photo by NAHL
BLAINE, Minn. – Conrad Fondrk (St. Paul, Minn.) tallied one goal and an assist, but the U.S. National Under-17 Team fell to the New Mexico Ice Wolves, 7-3, inside the Blaine Super Rink in its final game of the NAHL Showcase.
Team USA got off to a hot start, as Landon Hafele (Fairbanks, Alaska) scoted the first of the game 2:06 into opening stanza, cashing in on a rebound from the left circle off a shot by Fondrk. Carter Amico (Westbrook, Maine) was also credited with a helper.
The Ice Wolves cut the lead in half with a power-play goal 23 seconds into the middle frame, then tied things up at the 1:42 mark.
New Mexico went up 3-2 as Rasmus Leijonhiielm capitalized on a U.S. change and scored on the breakaway 5:34 into the period, then Ryan Johnson quickly made things 4-2 with a one-timer on the powerplay at the 6:59 mark. The Ice Wolves took a 5-2 lead just shy of the game’s halfway mark with a third power-play goal, and a fourth made things 6-2 with 9:05 to play in the period.
Jacob Kvasnicka (Plymouth, Minn.) added a third to the U.S. tally with 5:00 left in the second. Asher Barnett (Wilmette, Ill.) carried the puck all the way down the ice from behind the U.S. net and fed it Kvasnicka on the rush, who tipped it stick side past Ice Wolves goaltender Jackson Fuller.
An empty netter with 3:54 to play in the final period sealed things at 7-3.
The Under-17 Team will take the next week off from games before it’s back on the ice for the 2023-24 home opener Sept. 29 against the Green Bay Gamblers. Puck drop is set for 7pm ET and tickets can be purchased by calling the USA Hockey Arena box office at 734-453-8400.