GREEN BAY, Wis. - Fourteen different players recorded at least one point as the U.S. National Under-18 Team doubled up the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 10-5, here this evening at the Resch Center. The game was a part of the United States Hockey League Fall Classic East hosted by the Green Bay Gamblers.
Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) put the U.S. on the board midway through the first period. Intercepting a centering attempt, Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) fed the puck to Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) along the right side boards. Fischer hit Warren, who entered the zone and beat the defender wide, pulling the puck from his backhand to forehand and past Cedar Rapids goaltender Ben Blacker. Just 13 seconds later, Warren one-timed an Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) feed to double the U.S. lead.
Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) pushed the lead to three goals at the 13:03 mark of the first frame. Caleb Jones (Frisco, Texas) sent the puck cross-ice into the corner where Bracco corralled the puck, skated around the net and roofed the shot short side for the tally. Grant Gabriele (Brighton, Mich.) also assisted on the play. The RoughRiders answered 40 seconds later on the power play to trim the Team USA advantage to 3-1.
The U18s responded at 17:37 when Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) dropped a pass to Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.). Kunin slid the puck over to Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) who fired a shot past Blacker into top shelf. Cedar Rapids would net its second score at 18:23 before Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) potted the fifth U.S. goal with 20 seconds remaining in the period.
Twenty-eight seconds into the middle stanza, the RoughRiders found the back of the net. Masonius struck back for the U.S. to give the U18s a 6-3 lead. Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) and Bracco assisted on the play. A give-and-go between Tkachuk and Charlie McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) left White wide open to the right of the net and he tapped the puck in at 5:59 to increase the lead to 7-3. Tkachuk then added a power-play marker at 11:16 to give Team USA an 8-3 cushion heading into the second intermission. McAvoy and Steven Ruggiero (Kings Park, N.Y.) earned helpers on the play.
Cedar Rapids attempted the comeback bid to open the third, scoring back-to-back goals 41 seconds apart. But the Under-18 Team charged back with two goals of its own from Matthews and Fischer to claim the victory, 10-5.
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) kicked out 25 shots in the win for the U.S., while Blacker and Danny Tirone combined to make 26 saves for the RoughRiders in the loss.
Team USA returns to action tomorrow (Sept. 17) versus the Youngstown Phantoms. Puck drop is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET at the Resch Center. The game will be streamed live at FASTHockey.com.
Team USA outshot Cedar Rapids, 36-30 ... The U.S. went 1-for-5 with the man advantage, while the RoughRiders were 1-for-6 ... Joseph Masonius's second-period tally was his first with the National Team Development Program ... During the USHL Fall Classic Week, all games will finish with a 3-on-3 overtime session regardless of the score at the end of regulation. These sessions will help the USHL review and analyze whether to adopt this change full-time in future play.
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