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USA Tops Switzerland, 6-1

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 11/11/23, 1:00PM EST


Stiga and Ziemer notch two goals apiece

Photo by Ronald Hansel

HAMEENLINNA, Finland - The U.S. National Under-18 Team used a 22-save standout performance from Nick Kempf (Chicago, Ill.) and six unanswered goals to take down Switzerland, 6-1, Saturday afternoon at Pohjantahti Areena in Finland. 

Team USA was awarded a power play less than a minute into the game, but it was the Swiss who took advantage for a 1-0 lead while shorthanded. Noe Tarchini hustled down the ice and got his second shot past Kempf for the game's opening goal. 

Kempf went on to turn away the next 22 shots from Switzerland en route to being named Team USA's player of the game. 

Box Score

The U.S. responded at the 7:17 mark with a tying goal from Lucas Van Vliet (Livonia, Mich.). Shane Vansaghi (St. Louis, Mo.) floated the puck to open space and Van Vliet picked it up along the boards. He toured the offensive zone before cutting towards the slot, where he wired a wrister in the top corner for his second goal of the tournament. 

Forty-nine seconds into the middle frame, Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.) potted a second-chance opportunity to give Team USA a lead they would not relinquish. Logan Hensler (Woodbury, Minn.) found defensive partner Will Skahan (Woodbury, Minn.) at the left point. He put an initial shot on net which was padded aside, but Stiga sat on the doorstep for the rebound and a 2-1 USA lead. 

Team USA captain Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) doubled the lead to 3-1 at 9:54 after some great team passing. Cole Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) circled the offensive zone and slid a back-door feed for Ziemer to one-touch in as he was positioned right outside the crease.

The U.S. made it 4-1 before the close of the middle frame as Stiga notched his second goal of the period. Hagens led a 2-on-2 charge and sauced a perfect backhand helper to Stiga, who snuck in behind the defender and finished on the backhand.

On an early third-period man advantage, Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) added his name to the goal column for the first time in three games. Dishing it around the house, Hutson found Hagens at the left circle, where he went cross-ice for the patented Eiserman one-timer and a 5-1 lead.

Ziemer added his second of the game, another USA power-play marker, after he cleaned up an Eiserman bomb from the point and got his second chance opportunity to go for the 6-1 final. 

Kempf finished with 22 saves and earned his second win in as many games at the Five Nations. He has posted a 0.50 GAA and .978 save percentage in his pair of appearances.

The U.S. will need help in the early game tomorrow, a Finland win over Sweden, to be in position to win the championship. Team USA will take on Czechia at 10:30 a.m. ET back at Pohjantahti Areena. 

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