SARNIA, Ont. - Six different players scored, 14 total skaters notched at least one point and goaltenders Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) and Joseph Woll (Dardenne Prairie, Mo.) combined for a 23-save shutout as the U.S. National Under-17 Team rolled past Canada White, 6-0, in a World Under-17 Hockey Challenge pre-tournament contest at RBC Centre tonight.
Team USA opened the scoring 3:33 into the game and carried the 1-0 edge into the first intermission on a goal by Keeghan Howdeshell (Brighton, Mich.). After an outlet pass sent the U.S. into the Canada zone on a 3-on-2, Keenan Suthers (Macomb, Mich.) pushed the puck across to Howdeshell, who fought through a Canadian defender and poked it in.
A three-goal middle period helped the U.S. open a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes. Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek, Calif.) one-timed a Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) pass in from the slot at 1:20 to make it 2-0. Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) also assisted on the play. Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) scored on a 4-on-3 power play just 3:29 later after Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn.) dished him the puck on the right dot. A shorthanded tally by William Lockwood (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) put the United States up, 4-0, with just 2:16 to play in the second. The play started when Ryan Lindgren (Minneapolis, Minn.) chipped the puck to Trent Frederic (St. Louis, Mo.) at center. Frederic skated into the zone, found a soft spot in the coverage and dropped a pass on Lockwood's stick in the slot. Lockwood gathered the puck, moved it to his backhand and snuck the shot into the lower half of the net.
Max Jones (Rochester, Mich.) notched a power-play marker eight minutes into the third with help from Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane, Wash.) and Lindgren to boost Team USA's lead to 5-0. Keller batted home a centering pass with 3:32 left to close the scoring. Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn.) recorded the only assist on the play after he picked a Canada White defender's pocket and slid the puck to Keller in the slot.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team begins group play Sunday (Nov. 2) with a game against Sweden. Puck-drop is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET at The Shores Recreation Centre in Lambton Shores, Ontario.
Jake Oettinger was named U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Canada White, 42-23 … The Under-17 Team went 2-for-6 on the power play while holding the Canadians off the board in eight tries … The preliminary round and quarterfinals will be streamed live on FASTHockey.com and the official tournament website, which can be found here ... The semifinals, third-place game and championship contest will be broadcast live on TSN ... The 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge includes two groups of four teams. Group A features Canada Black, Canada White, Finland and Russia, while Group B includes Canada Red, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States ... Follow @USANTDP and @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for tournament updates ... Danton Cole (Pontiac, Mich.) is leading the U.S. National Under-17 Team for the third time in the tournament, having previously coached the U.S. to a second-place finish in 2011 and a third-place showing in 2013. Joining Cole on the bench is assistant coach John Gruden (Virginia, Minn.), goaltending coach Kevin Reiter (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and intern assistant coach Tyler Walsh (Lansing, Mich.).
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