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U18s Down RoughRiders, 6-2, to Earn Split

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 03/16/24, 9:15PM EDT


Hagens, Plante tally three points on the night

Photo by Rena Laverty

PLYMOUTH, Mich. - James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) recorded a goal and two assists apiece to help lead the U.S. National Under-18 Team to a 6-2 win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders to cap Military Appreciation Weekend Saturday night at USA Hockey Arena. 

The opening period went by without a score or any grade-A chances on either side. U18 netminder Nick Kempf (Chicago, Ill.) turned aside all eight RoughRiders attempts while James Norton was 3-for-3 in his opportunities. 

Box Score


Team USA broke through on their fourth shot of the night, just 92 seconds into the middle frame as Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) netted his 24th goal of the season. Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.) led James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) into the offensive zone along the left wing. He came to a stop and threaded a pass through three RoughRiders on the money to Ziemer, who potted in the top left corner for a 1-0 lead. 

Cedar Rapids found the equalizer a little more than three minutes as Isaac Johnson connected on a second chance in front after the initial hsot from Amine Hajibi. 

The U18s countered with a pair of goals in 13 seconds to take a 3-1 lead before the midway mark of the game. First, it was Max Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) who found the back of the net with a beautiful hesitation move around the goaltender before sliding it into the open cage. He was set up by Hagens and Noah Lapointe (Hinsdale, Ill.) on the goal at 6:49.

Shortly after, Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) connected from the right faceoff dot with a rocket of a wrister for his 47th tally of the year. Kamil Bednarik (Chicago, Ill.) set up the score after a great forecheck from he and Christian Humphreys (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Lapointe was credited with the secondary helper giving him his first multi-point effort of the season. 

Hagens put his name in the goal column to extend the U.S. lead to 4-1 with less than seven minutes to play in the period. Plante corralled a Cedar Rapids clearing attempt along the boards and backhanded a feed to Hagens coming down the right wing, where he put a quick wrister through the five-hole of Norton. 

A pretty passing display gave Team USA its fifth goal of the period as Eiserman was the recipient in front for his second goal of the evening. From behind the net, Ziemer crossed it over to Plante, who centered it for Eiserman in the slot and a 5-1 lead. 

The U18s made it five tallies in a row as Lucas Van Vliet (Livonia, Mich.) potted one from the slot with 6:16 to play in regulation. Plante won possession of the puck below the attacking net and centered a quick feed to Van Vliet to make it a 6-1 game. 

RoughRiders forward Riley Bassen tallied after for the game's 6-2 final.

Kempf finished his night with 19 saves as he picked up the win and extended his record to 16-6-0-1 on the campaign.

The U18s are off next weekend before traveling to Iowa for a pair of games against the Dubuque Fighting Saints on March 29-30.

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