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U18s Fall to Youngstown, 5-3

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 12/16/23, 9:45PM EST


Vansaghi scores Teddy Bear Toss goal

Photo by Rena Laverty

PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Shane Vansaghi (St. Louis, Mo.) netted the Teddy Bear Toss goal to send bears flying to the ice, and Austin Baker (White Lake, Mich.) and Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) each added a goal, but the U.S. National Under-18 Team fell to the Youngstown Phantoms by a 5-3 count here tonight at USA Hockey Arena.

Vansaghi got things rolling just 2:01 into the game. Kristian Epperson (Mequon, Wis.) slid the puck to Kamil Bednarik (Chicago, Ill.) across the neutral zone. Bednarik skated down the left wing with Vansaghi and sent him the puck in the low slot as Vansaghi banged home a one-timer to make it rain teddy bears.

Box Score


Youngstown knotted things 1:19 later as Kuzma Voronin potted one off a rebound.

Baker regained the U.S. lead at the 7:06 mark. Dakoda Rheaume-Mullen (Northville, Mich.) found EJ Emery (Compton, Calif.) at the right point, who fired a shot off, and Baker got a stick on it for the redirect.

Ziemer made it a 3-1 game 24 seconds later. James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) picked the puck off a Phantoms forward's stick in the Youngstown zone and flipped it to Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.) on the doorstep. Stiga tried to tip it past Youngstown netminder Owen Bartoszkiewicz, but Bartoszkiewicz got a pad on it. Ziemer picked up the rebound and went glove-side past Bartoszkiewicz for the two-goal lead. 

Youngstown brought the game back within one just before the halfway mark of the middle stanza with an unfortunate spring for the U.S. off the stick of Evan Jardine, then tied it with 5:52 left in the period with another fortunate bounce off a shot by Jack Willson.

Grant Young scored the game winner 3:37 into the final frame, then an empty-netter from Hunter Ramos sealed the 5-3 win for the Phantoms.

The U18s are back in action Thursday, December 28 as they host the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET from USA Hockey Arena and the game can be streamed on 

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