Photo by Hockey Canada
SUMMERSIDE, Prince Edward Island - LJ Mooney (West Mifflin, Pa.) scored 1:09 into overtime to lift the U.S. National Under-17 Team to a thrilling 5-4 victory over Czechia tonight at the Eastlink Centre at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The U17s now hold a 3-1-2-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. With the win, Team USA advances to the championship game tomorrow against Canada White at 4:00 p.m. ET at the Eastlink Centre. The game will be broadcast live on TSN.
Teddy Mutryn (Norwell, Mass.) kicked off scoring just 1:57 into the contest. Carter Amico (Westbrook, Maine) picked the puck off the stick of a Czechian forward in the U.S. zone to start the rush and chipped it ahead to Andrew O'Neill (Fargo, N.D.). O'Neill slid a backhand pass to Mutryn, who skated into the low slot and beat Czech netminder Ondrej Stebetak with a one-timer.
Adam Novotny evened the score exactly nine minutes later with a wrister above the left circle, but a Will Horcoff (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) penalty shot restored the U.S. lead before the period's close. He dribbled the puck down the ice and roofed a backhander above the left shoulder of Stebetak.
The Czechs tied the game 1:23 into the middle frame with a score from Vaclav Nestrasil, then took the lead with an Adam Benak power-play tally shy of the 14 minute mark.
Jack Murtagh (East Greenbush, N.Y.) found the equalizer off a feed from Drew Schock (Green Bay, Wis.). Schock picked up the puck behind the U.S. net off a clearing attempt, skated down the ice and dealt it to Murtagh, who went shortside from the bottom of the left circle.
Vit Zahejsky regained the Czech lead with 2:56 to play on the power play after the U.S. took a penalty for too many men.
A heroic tally from Murtagh with .7 seconds to play sent the game to overtime. He received the puck from Will Moore (Ithaca, N.Y.) along the boards and went top shelf for his second goal of the night. Schock also earned an assist, jumpstarting the play in the U.S. zone.
Mooney netted the game winner, unassisted, as he forced a turnover at the blueline, went on a breakaway and sent a rocket glove-side.
Harrison Boettiger (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) backed the U.S. in net, finishing with 21 saves. Murtagh was named the U.S. player of the game.