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USA Downs Sweden, 5-2, to Open U17 Challenge

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 11/02/23, 9:00PM EDT


Third period surge lifts team to victory

Photo by Mike Bernard/Hockey Canada

SUMMERSIDE, Prince Edward Island - Third-period goals from Conrad Fondrk (White Bear Lake, Minn.), Will Moore (Ithaca, N.Y.) and Will Belle (Minnetonka, Minn.) lifted the U.S. National Under-17 Team to a 5-2 win over Sweden Thursday evening inside Credit Union Place at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Jack Murtagh (East Greenbush, N.Y.) lit the lamp 7:48 into the game on the power play. Donny Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) fed the puck to Charlie Trethewey (Woodbine, Md.) at the point, who skated into the left circle and fired a wrister for a redirect into the net by Murtagh.

Box Score

2023 U17 WHC

Sweden's Viktor Klingsell knotted the game with 7:50 to play in the opening stanza, going far side, then scored a second 6:01 into the middle frame to take a 2-1 lead.

Cole McKinney (Lake Forest, Ill.) nearly evened the score with 6:30 left in the second off a breakaway, but his shot rang off the goalpost.

It was LJ Mooney (West Mifflin, Pa.) who tied things up with a highlight-worthy goal at the period's 13:28 mark, picking up a loose puck after Fondrk stole it off the stick of a Swedish forward. Mooney carried it into the zone and toe dragged around a Swede, scoring from a near impossible angle to make it a 2-2 game heading into the final frame.

Fondrk regained the U.S. lead with just over five minutes left in the third period, beating Isak Sörqvist with a dagger from the high slot on the power play. Cullen Potter (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Drew Schock (Green Bay, Wis.) picked up assists.

Moore added a fourth for Team USA 51 seconds later, connecting with an Asher Barnett (Wilmette, Ill.) stretch pass and dancing around three Swedish skaters for his first of the tournament. Trethewey also earned an assist on the goal. An empty net goal frmo Belle brought the final tally to 5-3, with Will Horcoff  (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and Fondrk picking up assists.

Harrison Boettiger (Wheat Ridge, Colo.), who was named the U.S. player of the game, finished with 19 saves.

The U17s, who currently hold the top spot in the tournament standings with three points and a 1-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, continue preliminary round play in the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge tomorrow (Nov. 3) against Czechia. Puck drop is set for 2:00 p.m. ET at Credit Union Place and can be streamed live here.


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