EAST MEADOW, N.Y. - Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) netted two goals and Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) recorded three assists as the U.S. National Under-18 Team downed the Lincoln Stars, 4-1, here this evening at Twin Rinks Ice Center. With the win, Team USA claimed victory in both games at the United States Hockey League Atlantic Challenge.
Lincoln opened the scoring just over five minutes into the game, capitalizing on a Team USA turnover in front of the net. The U.S. answered at the 11:09 mark off the stick of Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.). Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) found Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa) cross-ice with a pass that he put on Stars goaltender Hunter Shephard. Kunin jammed home the rebound. With just under two minutes remaining in the frame, Floodstrand hit a streaking Bracco entering the zone. Splitting the Lincoln defenders by dragging the puck behind him, Bracco pulled Shephard out of position and backhanded a shot into the cage. Steven Ruggiero (Kings Park, N.Y.) also assisted.
Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) extended the Team USA lead to two goals at 4:35 of the second stanza. The power-play strike was assisted on by Floodstrand.
The duo of Floodstrand and Bracco connected once more at the 2:34 mark of the final period. Bracco's second goal put the U.S. up by three and Lincoln couldn't respond.
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) turned aside 24 shots in the victory for Team USA, while Shephard and Peyton Jones combined to make 51 saves in the losing effort for Lincoln.
The U.S. National Under-18 team will continue its preseason portion of the 2014-15 schedule when it hosts the NAHL's Michigan Warriors on Saturday, Sept. 13. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. ET at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
Team USA oustshot Lincoln, 55-25 ... The U.S. went 1-6 on the power play, while Lincoln went 0-3 ... Luke Kunin wore the captain's "C" in today's matchup, while Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Colin White served as assistant captains ... Follow the NTDP on Twitter, Instagram and like us on Facebook.
1. Michael Floodstrand, Team USA
2. Jeremy Bracco, Team USA
3. Auston Matthews, Team USA