Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. - The U.S. National Under-18 Team outshot Sweden by a commanding 45-19 margin, but Sweden came from behind to beat Team USA, 4-3, and capture the Five Nations championship Saturday evening at USA Hockey Arena.
Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) kicked off the scoring at 4:12 with a fluttering shot through traffic from the top of the left circle to give the U18s an early one-goal advantage. Ziemer caught a Swedish clearing attempt before delivering one near the top right corner of the net for his fifth goal of the tournament.
Sweden stormed back with two quick goals to pull in front and take a lead after 20 minutes of action. Alexander Zetterberg tied the game with a slap shot off a great feed from Melvin Fernstrom and Jakob Ihs-Wozniak claimed the lead for the Swedes a little over two minutes later with a quick far-side wrister after driving the left wing.
The U18s converted a scoring chance to tie the game at 5:31 in the second. Cole Eiserman's (Newburyport, Mass.) aggressive forecheck forced a turnover in the corner and he backhanded a pass out to Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.). He collected and sniped one far-side, top-corner past the Swedish keeper to even the tallies at twos.
Team USA took their first lead at 13:53 during a 5-on-3 power play. Cole Hutson (Chicago, Ill.), Plante and Ziemer went tic-tac-toe, with Ziemer burying one from the hashes and lighting the lamp for his second tally of the tournament finale.
The Swedes answered back, tying the game with a power-play score just shy of the midway mark of the final frame. Anton Frondell roofed one with a one-timer from the right circle.
A Team USA penalty near the end of regulation gave Sweden another man advantage, and Frondell won the trophy with another top shelf roofer as two seconds remained on the clock.
Love Harenstam finished with 42 saves to pick up the win for Team Sweden, while Nick Kempf (Chicago, Ill.) stopped 15 in net for Team USA.
Harenstam was named the Player of the Game for Team Sweden, while Brodie Ziemer earned the honors for Team USA.