Photo by Rena Laverty
Andrew O'Neill (Fargo, N.D.) had a chance on an early breakaway, trying to send a backhander five-hole, but it was the Lumberjacks who got on the board first with a power-play marker from the top of the left circle 7:01 into the opening stanza.
LJ Mooney (West Mifflin, Pa.) evened the score with 8:17 left in the period. Charlie Trethewey (Woodbine, Md.) knocked the puck off the stick of a Muskegon forward in front of the U.S. net and Mooney grabbed the loose change, carried it up the ice and fired it far side past the shoulder of Muskegon netminder Lukas Swedin.
The Lumberjacks regained their lead with 9:02 to play in the second at the hands off Easton Young from the slot, then Filip Nordberg added a third to their tally with a shot from the point 4:42 later.
Jack Murtagh (East Greenbush, N.Y.) brought the U.S. within one at the 11:32 mark of the final frame. Carter Amico (Westbrook, Maine) intercepted a pass intended for Muskegon in the U.S. zone and found Andrew O'Neill (Fargo, N.D.) along the left wing. He wired it to Murtagh, who faked out a Lumberjack defenseman and slipped it past Swedin right on the doorstep.
Team USA pulled goaltender Patrick Quinlan (Kennett Square, Pa.) with 2:14 to play, but empty net goals from Hunter Anderson and Teddy Spitznagel sealed the game at 5-2.
The U17s head to Muskegon for a rematch tomorrow night at Trinity Health Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:10 p.m.