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U17s Fall to Cedar Rapids in Shootout

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 03/02/24, 10:45PM EST


Epperson scores, adds assist; Slavick finishes with 26 saves

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The U.S. National Under-17 Team overcame three goal deficits, but was unable to complete the comeback and fell, 4-3, to the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in a shootout tonight inside ImOn Ice Arena.

Team USA poured on pressure to start the contest, highlighted by an excellent forehand-backhand chance by Will Horcoff (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), but netminder Rudy Guimond kept the U17s off the scoreboard.

Box Score

It was the RoughRiders who broke the ice with a Colin Grable shorthanded tally off the rush with 7:10 left in the opening stanza.

Horcoff found the equalizer 6:05 into the middle frame. Kristian Epperson (Mequon, Wis.) picked up a loose puck amid a scramble and put it towards the net. Horcoff got a stick on it for the redirect to tie the game at one apiece heading into the third.

Landan Resendes regained the RoughRiders' lead 3:21 into the final 20 off a set-up by Ryan O'Connell, but Epperson scored one of his own to knot the game at two. Cullen Potter (Plymouth, Minn.) forced a turnover at the blue line to find Epperson, who walked in and went top-shelf past Guimond.

A Loa Milfors wrister from the right circle made it a 3-2 game just 51 seconds later.

Conrad Fondrk (White Bear Lake, Minn.) found the answer with 3:47 left in regulation to send the game to overtime, intercepting a centering pass in the low slot and ripping it by Guimond.

U.S. goaltender Joey Slavick (Westland, Mich.) was phenomenal in the 3-on-3 session to push a shootout, but Cedar Rapids' Jack Larrigan scored in the shootout to steal the win.

Slavick finished with 26 saves.

The U17s head west tomorrow for a 4:00 p.m. ET puck drop against Des Moines to wrap up the weekend. The game can be seen live on FloHockey.TV.

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