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U17s Top Steel, 7-5, to Open Weekend

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 03/09/24, 9:45PM EST


Bracco, Kvasnicka, Potter, Schock with two points apiece

Photo by Nathan Galvan

GENEVA, Ill. Cullen Potter (Minneapolis, Minn.) scored twice and U.S. netminder Harrison Boettiger (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) made 27 saves as the U.S. National Under-17 Team took down the Chicago Steel, 7-5, here tonight at Fox Valley Ice Arena. The win marked Boettiger's eighth of the year and second in USHL play.

Conrad Fondrk (White Bear Lake, Minn.) opened the game's scoring 4:32 into the contest. He picked up the puck along the boards and skated past the goal line to put a wraparound score by Chicago netminder Louka Cloutier. 

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Potter doubled the Team USA's lead off an odd-man rush just shy of the game's ten-minute mark. He picked up the puck in the U.S. zone and carried it up the right wing with Will Horcoff (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) in stride. The Michigan State commit fired a wrister from the circle for his first of the night.

Lincoln Kuehne (West Fargo, N.D.) marker put the U.S. up by three with 8:28 left in the opening stanza. Will Moore (Ithaca, N.Y.) chipped the puck free in a battle behind the goal line and Kuehne came flying in with a one-timer from the slot for his first goal in USHL play.

Jacob Kvasnicka (Plymouth, Minn.) made it a 4-0 game at 14:23. Drew Schock (Green Bay, Wis.) fed Kvasnicka the puck atop the left circle, who toe-dragged around the paint and deked out Cloutier for a beautiful tally.

The Steel got on the board 8:07 into the middle frame with a Ben Yurchuk rebound score, then Charlie Major cut the U.S. lead in half with a goal at an angle 49 seconds later.

Potter picked up his second of the night with a power-play goal at 12:37 of the second. Donny Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) slid him the puck in the U.S. zone and Potter turned on the jets, flew up the right wing and fired at an angle. The puck bounced off the stick of a Steel skater and in. Boettiger tallied an assist on the play as well.

Schock was the next to score, just 20 seconds later. Charlie Trethewey (Woodbine, Md.) carried the puck through the neutral zone and fed Schock a drop pass. The University of Michigan commit walked in and fired an absolute snipe from the high slot, going off the post and in. Kvasnicka earned a helper as well.

Bracco added a seventh to Team USA's tally. Jake Stuart (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) scooped up a rebound and fed it to Garrett Lindberg (Moorhead, Minn.) in the slot, who found Bracco along the left wing. He skated in and beat Cloutier with a dagger of a wrist shot from the left circle with 3:44 left in the period.

Major added a third to Chicago's tally 7:10 into the final frame with a quick one on the doorstep. Michael Emerson made it a three-goal game four minutes later, and a Tobias Öhman redirect with 1:38 to play brought the final score to 7-5.

The two teams faceoff again tomorrow from Fox Valley Ice Arena. Puck drop is set for 4:00 p.m. ET and the game can be seen live on FloHockey.TV.

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