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U18s Drop First of Two in Sioux Falls, 7-4

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 01/11/24, 10:45PM EST


Teams square off again tomorrow evening

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) collected his 30th goal in 30 games this season, but he U.S. National Under-18 Team fell to the Sioux Falls Stampede, 7-4, in the first of two this weekend at the PREMIER Center. 

The first goal of the night came from a familiar face in Beckett Hendrickson, but this year the NTDP alum skates for Sioux Falls. He took a pass from Tyler Borgula and wrapped it around Nick Kempf (Chicago, Ill.) for an early Stamepde lead. 

The U18s responded just over a minute later after an elongated offensive-zone possession. Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.) stripped a Stampede defender of the puck behind the net and centered a quick pass for Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) who went over the shoulder of NTDP alum Michael Chambre in net to even the game. 

Box Score

Brendan McMorrow (Lakeville, Minn.) put the U18s ahead at 9:25 after he one-timed a shot from the slot off a nice feed from Christian Humphreys (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Kamil Bednarik (Chicago, Ill.) took the initial shot that Humphreys scooped up to pick up the secondary helper on the 2-1 score. 

With just under five minutes to play in the opening period, Sioux Falls' Noah Eyre was awarded a penalty shot after getting hooked on a breakaway. The right-handed forward deked back to his forehand late but Kempf made a huge left pad save to keep the U18s in front. 

Team USA added another before the end of the first with an absolute snipe off a rush from Eiserman at the right circle. Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) punched the puck up to James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) to spring a 2-on-1 rush. He went cross-ice to Eiserman, who netted his 30th goal of the season. 

The Stampede exploded in the middle frame as they went on to pot all four goals of the period, including a pair by John McNelis, to take a 5-3 lead after 40 minutes of action. 

Past the halfway mark of the third, Sioux Falls forward Hayden Reid took a stretch pass and finished on the backhand to put the home team up by three. 

After Will McDonough added a power-play score for the Stampede, Team USA's Austin Baker (White Lake, Mich.) finished the game's scoring with a put-back goal with under a minute remaining in regulation for the 7-4 final.

The two sides will meet again tomorrow night to finish the series. Puck drop is set for 8:05 p.m. ET from the Premier Center in South Dakota. 

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