skip navigation

U18s Take First of Home-and-Home at Muskegon, 5-3

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 04/05/24, 9:30PM EDT


Hagens and Stiga earn three points apiece

MUSKEGON, Mich. - The U.S. National Under-18 Team defeated the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 5-3, behind three point nights from James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.).

Neither side could light the lamp in the opening 20 minutes, even with double-digit shots for both teams. Team USA's Jack Parsons (Ithaca, N.Y.) made 10 saves while counterpart Shikhabutdin Gadzhiev turned aside all 12 U.S. attempts. 

Box Score

Team USA broke the ice at 6:08 of the second on a quick end-to-end score. Logan Hensler (Woodbury, Minn.) started the breakout by feeding Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) up the right wing. He cut towards center ice, slicing through a pair of defenders, before he left a back-door feed for Kamil Bednarik (Chicago, Ill.) who finished for a 1-0 U18 lead. 

A minute later, Hagens doubled the score with a quick shot from between the hashes. John Whipple (Minnetonka, Minn.) won a puck battle along the boards and sent it to Stiga below the goal line. He quickly centered a backhanded feed for Hagens, who pushed his goal streak to four straight games. 

The Lumberjacks brought it back to one score with 8:44 to play in the second. After a nifty set-up from Matvei Gridin, Joe Connor got three or four chances at the puck in front before pushing it under Parsons to make it a 2-1 contest. 

Connor added a second score late in the second period to make it a 2-2 game after 40 minutes. 

It took just 2:27 into the third period for the U18s to restore their lead. Charging down the left wing, Stiga and Hagens played catch until Stiga wound up from the center point and blasted in his 28th score of the season, matching Hagens for second-most on the team. The goal was aided by a tremendous screen in front from captain Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.). 

Team USA took it back to a two-goal advantage 89 seconds later off the stick of Austin Baker (White Lake, Mich.). After a Lumberjacks mishap, Christian Humphreys (Pittsburgh, Pa.) picked up the puck and drove down the ice with a delayed 2-on-1. He hesitated to free up space and slid a pass to Baker who connected for a 4-2 lead. 

The U.S. top-line combined for the team's fifth goal of the game to extend the NTDP lead to three. Ziemer drove the play from the neutral zone, went down around the Muskegon net and found Stiga for a back-door tap-in. Hagens earned the secondary assist on the 5-2 score to give him 14 points over his last four games. 

Gridin found a score near the end of regulation, but Team USA held on for a 5-3 win.

Parsons picked up his lucky 13th win of the season as he finished with 33 saves, his second most in a game this season.

The two sides complete the home-and-home set tomorrow evening at USA Hockey Arena. The game, the final domestic game for this year's U18s, is billet appreciation night and will also feature a solar eclipse glasses giveaway, sponsored by Wayne State University. Tickets are available at or by calling 734-453-8400. 

U18 Roster

U18 Player Stats

U18 Schedule & Results

Latest News

Feature Stories