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U18s Down Lincoln, 5-3

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 02/23/24, 9:15PM EST


McMorrow ties career high with three point night; Mooney adds three points in U18 debut

Photo by Rena Laverty

PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Brendan McMororw (Lakeville, Minn.) tied his career-high with three points and LJ Mooney (West Mifflin, Pa.) added three points in his U18 debut as the U.S. National Under-18 Team worked past the Lincoln Stars, 5-3, tonight here at USA Hockey Arena. 

The Stars opened the scoring 4:29 into the first period. Despite being checked behind the net, Matthew Maltais regained possession of the puck and backhanded a pass to Jared Mangan in the slot, where he buried his shot into Team USA's net to put the Stars up early. 

Box Score


It took the U18s just over a minute to respond with a goal of their own to even the score. A turnover in the neutral zone sent Team USA on an odd-man rush. Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) led the rush before handing the puck over to linemate Brendan McMorrow (Lakeville, Minn.). He briefly lost a handle on the puck but Mooney, making his U18 debut, quickly regained control and set up McMorrow for a one timer from the right dot to tie the game up at 5:26.

With a little over two minutes remaining in the opening frame, McMorrow netted his second goal of the game to put the U18s ahead. Plante skated into the offensive zone and snapped a quick wrister that bounced off the crossbar and out to the crease. McMorrow followed and batted the puck out of mid-air and in for his third career multi-goal game at the NTDP. 

The Stars found another equalizer after 25 seconds of play in the second period. After Lincoln intercepted the U18s defensive-zone clearance attempt, Juan Copeland sent Dashel Oliver charging towards Team USAs net with the puck, where he was able to beat Jack Parsons (Ithaca, N.Y.) five-hole from the face-off circle.

Once again, the U18s came back to take a lead into the third period on a Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) power-play goal. Cole Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) stick handled the puck through the offensive zone before slipping a pass back to James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) at the point. He immediately sauced the puck to Eiserman at the right circle, who ripped a one-timer top shelf at 16:10 of the second to make the lead 3-2.

Team USA earned its first two-goal advantage of the night off a power-play marker from Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.) early in the third period. Kamil Bednarik (Chicago, Ill.) and McMorrow battled for the puck and eventually sent it along the boards behind the net to Mooney. He found Stiga, who put his shot in the top right corner for the 25th score this season.

After Keaton Peters brought the Stars back within a score, Mooney responded just over a minute later to restore the U18 two-goal lead. On the man-up, Logan Hensler (Woodbury, Minn.) took the initial shot from the point that was pushed aside. Bednarik got his stick on the rebound to kick it out to the left flank, where Mooney collected and chipped in to make it a three-point effort on the night. 

Lincoln pulled its goaltender with just over three minutes to play in regulation, but the clock bled out without another score in the 5-3 final.

Parsons turned aside 24 of 26 shots in his action, while Nick Kempf (Chicago, Ill.) made nine saves in relief to get credit for the win. 

The U18s are off for the remainder of the weekend before they start a three-in-three next Friday night against Waterloo. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. from USA Hockey Arena and tickets are available by calling the USA Hockey Arena box office at 734-453-8400 or by going to

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