ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) notched one goal and added one assist, but the U.S. National Under-18 Team was downed by the No. 9-ranked Michigan Wolverines, 7-4, here tonight at Yost Ice Arena. With the setback, the U.S. record against collegiate squads drops to 1-1.
Team USA opened the scoring just 1:14 into the first frame. Executing the give and go, Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) fed Tkachuk who skated in alone and roofed a backhand shot under the crossbar. Michigan answered at the 15:00 mark to tie the game, 1-1. A redirected wrist shot beat U.S. netminder Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) 1:02 later as Michigan seized the lead. The Wolverines extended their advantage, 3-1, off a face-off win before time expired on the period.
Michigan scored a power-play goal off a tip in front of the net at 5:37 of the second stanza. Team USA struck back 46 seconds later off the stick of Colin White (Hanover, Mass.). Tkachuk skated in on Wolverines goalie Zach Nagelvoort and found White on the right side, who tapped the puck into the net. The U.S. edged closer when Tage Thompson (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) fired a shot home from in the slot. Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) collected an assist on the play. Michigan's second power-play strike late in the period sent Team USA to the dressing room down, 5-3.
Nagelvoort gave way to Steve Racine between the pipes for the Wolverines and 16 seconds into the third period U18 forward Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) netted a quick wraparound goal to close the gap with Michigan, 5-4. The Wolverines next potted a rebound goal to regain its two-goal lead and added another tally on a delayed penalty call as the U.S. fell, 7-4.
Opilka made 34 saves on 41 shots faced in the loss for Team USA, while Nagelvoort and Racine combined to stop 14 shots in the win for Michigan.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team returns to United States Hockey League action this Friday, Oct. 10, when the Youngstown Phantoms visit the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and the contest will be broadcast live on FASTHockey.
Michigan outshot Team USA, 41-18 ... The U.S. went 0-5 with the man advantage while the Wolverines were 2-8 ... The U.S. National Under-18 Team previously knocked off the No. 3-ranked Wolverines, 5-4, in overtime, on Dec. 5, 2013, at Yost ... Six current Wolverines played at the National Team Development Program: Evan Allen (Sterling Heights, Mich./2011-13), J.T. Compher (Northbrook, Ill./2011-13), Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich./2010-12), Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./2012-14), Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich./2011-13) and Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich./2013-14) ... Seven current NTDP players are verbally committed to play at Michigan ... Thirty-six players from the NTDP have went on to skate for the University of Michigan, the most any NCAA hockey program can boast.
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