Photo by Michael Caples
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Conrad Fondrk (White Bear Lake, Minn.) scored the game's only goal 80 seconds into overtime and Harrison Boettiger (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) turned in his first career NTDP shutout with 29 saves as the U.S. National Under-17 Team earned its first USHL victory with a 1-0 win over the Madison Capitols Friday night at USA Hockey Arena.
In the overtime session, Fondrk took a pass along the right wing from Donny Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.), made a sharp cut towards the center of the ice and fired over the shoulder of Capitols goaltender Carsen Musser to secure the victory for Team USA.
Neither side could open the scoring in the initial period as both netminders remained perfect through 20 minutes. Boettiger made six saves while NTDP alum Musser turned aside all seven shots he saw from Team USA.
The U17s found two grade-A scoring opportunities in the last 90 seconds of the period. First, it was a pretty passing display from Cole McKinney (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Jacob Kvasnicka (Plymouth, Minn.) that led to a Fondrk opportunity from the slot, that was turned aside by Musser. On the ensuing rush, it was Kvasnicka setting up Cullen Potter (Minneapolis, Minn.) for a chance that was blockered away as the period finished without a goal.
Boettiger began the second period with a bevy of saves through the first eight minutes, none better than a pair of back-to-back stops on Chris Delaney unabated in front of the cage.
Team USA had a plethora of chances throughout the period, including a Bracco breakaway in the last minute of play, but the game remained goalless through 40 minutes.
Just past the midway mark of the third period, Will Moore (Ithaca, N.Y.) led a 3-on-2 rush into the offensive zone and found Richard Gallant (Concord, Mass.) in the slot for a beautiful opportunity, but the Harvard commit rang his shot off the far-side post and the game remained scoreless.
Jack Murtagh (East Greenbush, N.Y.) raced in behind the Capitols defense on a breakaway with 3:45 to play in regulation, but was chased down from behind and couldn't get a clean look on net.
Third-period shots ended at 10 per side, but the game didn't have a goal scorer through 60 minutes of regulation.
Thirty seconds into the overtime period, McKinney carved a path through the defense for a terrific chance from the slot, but Musser turned it aside for his 29th save of the night.
Moments later, Fondrk entered the zone and made a sharp cut towards the center of the ice before he fired in the game-winning goal for the Under-17 Team's first USHL victory.
The U17s head into their first international break of the season as they prepare for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge early next month in Charlottetown and Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Their first game of the tournament is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday evening.