Photo by Mike Bernard/Hockey Canada
SUMMERSIDE, Prince Edward Island - Will Moore (Ithaca, N.Y.), who was named the U.S. player of the game, scored his first hat-trick of the season and the U.S. National Under-17 Team had six power-play goals in an 8-3 decided win over Finland this evening inside Credit Union Place at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The U17s currently hold the top spot in the tournament standings with nine points and a 3-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.
Finland's Joonas Rajala opened scoring 1:45 into the game with a score on the doorstep, but Moore tied things up minutes later on the power play. Donny Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) fed the puck to Charlie Trethewey (Woodbine, Md.) at the right point, who found a waiting Moore through traffic. Moore beat Finnish goaltender Patrik Kerkola with a quick one on the doorstep
Jacob Kvasnicka (Plymouth, Minn.) gave Team USA the lead just shy of the period's halfway mark. Richard Gallant (Concord, Mass.) found Moore in stride and Moore got a shot off, but Kerkola made the stop. Kvasnicka picked up the rebound and sent a one-timer top shelf.
Back on the power play, Jack Murtagh (East Greenbush, N.Y.) gave the U.S. a two-goal cushion. Cullen Potter (Minneapolis, Minn.) connected with LJ Mooney (West Mifflin, Pa.) on the rush. Mooney skated into the zone, skidded to a stop and sled the puck to Murtagh, who snapped it past Kerkola with 7:54 to go in the first.
Eetu Orpana added a second to the Finnish tally with a power-play goal off a scramble on the doorstep to make it a 3-2 game heading into the middle frame.
The U.S. netted three power-play goals in the second, with Potter scoring the first. Trethwey found Potter at the point, who went short-side from just above the left circle 2:47 into the period. Drew Schock (Green Bay, Wis.) tallied a helper on the goal as well.
It was Moore who scored next, taking advantage of a cluster in front of the Swedish net and nudging the puck over the line at the four-minute mark. Cole McKinney (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Trethewey earned assists.
Trethewey then picked up his first goal of the tournament with 9:53 left in the middle frame. Potter dished the puck to Trethewey with a cross-ice pass and Trethewey rifled it off the post and in from the left circle. Conrad Fondrk (White Bear Lake, Minn.) picked up a helper as well.
Finland's Rafael Pihlman scored a power-play goal before the period's close to make things 6-3.
Moore completed the hat trick with 8:01 left in the game, collecting the puck from Will Horcoff (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) at the top of the zone and going forehand-backhand to chip the puck over the shoulder of Kerkola. Bracco tallied an assist as well.
Trethewey brought the final tally to 8-3 with 5:08 to play with one more power-play goal. Mooney dished him the puck at the left circle and Trethewey went top shelf.
Harrison Boettiger (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) backstopped Team USA in the win, making 28 stops on the night.
The U17s continue preliminary round play in the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Monday (Nov. 6) against Canada White. Puck drop is set for 6:00 p.m. ET at Credit Union Place and can be streamed live here.