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Notebook (Nov. 3) - It's Tournament Time for the U17 / U18 Teams

By Becky Olsen, 11/03/14, 8:30PM EST


U17s head to Sarnia, Ont., while U18s travel to Sweden.

The U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams are playing in their first international tournaments of the season this week. The U18s are in Sweden for the Four Nations Tournament while the U17s continue play at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario.

UNDER-18 FOUR NATIONS: The Four Nations Tournament begins on Wednesday in Sweden. In addition to Team USA, the event features Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.

The U18s open the tournament against Finland on Friday before playing Switzerland on Saturday and Sweden on Sunday. Team USA skates in a pre-tournament contest on Wednesday versus Sweden in Kovland.

“This is a good measuring stick to see where we are at as a team,” head coach Don Granato said. “We are looking to play our game, compete as a team and let the results take care of itself. Our goal is to get better with each game.”

Before heading to Sweden, the U18s posted a 4-1 win on the road at Muskegon on Oct. 28. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) registered two goals and one assist to pace the offense. Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) and Tage Thompson (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) also scored. Goalie Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) stopped 24 of 25 shots to earn the win.

WORLD U17 CHALLENGE: Fresh off a 6-3 tournament-opening win against Sweden on Sunday, the U17s close out preliminary-round play at the World Under-17 Challenge against Slovakia on Monday and Canada Red on Tuesday. The tournament in Sarnia, Ontario, moves into the quarterfinals on Thursday, followed by the semifinals Friday and the medal round Saturday.

Trent Frederic (St. Louis, Mo.), Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.), Keeghan Howdeshell (Brighton, Mich.), Max Jones (Rochester, Mich.), Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) and Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek, Calif.), scored the goals in the victory. Joseph Woll (Dardenne Prairie, Mo.) earned the start in net, stopping 21 of 24 shots.

Team USA also won its tune-up match 6-0 over Canada White on Friday. Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) and Woll combined for the shutout with a combined 23 stops. Keller, William Lockwood (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Khodorenko, Howdeshell, Jones and Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) scored.


  • Team USA has won six of the last seven U18 Four Nations Tournaments, including the 2012 event, which was played at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
  • Former National Team Development Program forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif./2009-11) made his National Hockey League debut for the Florida Panthers on Saturday. He finished with one shot in a little over six minutes of ice time against the Philadelphia Flyers.
  • Former NTDP and current Boston University forward Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass./2012-14) leads all NCAA Division I rookies in points with nine (4-5) in five games. His nine points ties him for sixth overall in the NCAA.
  • The U18s carry a 9-5-1 (W-L-T) record into this week. The squad is averaging 4.6 goals per game while allowing 3.0 goals per contest.
  • Heading into the Four Nations Tournament, Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y./9-17) paces the U18s with 26 points. Auston Matthews (8-14) sits second with 22 points while Matthew Tkachuk (10-11) is third with 21 points. Rounding out the top five are Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill./6-9) and Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich./7-4) with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
  • In goal for the U18s, Michael Lackey and Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) split time. Opilka is 5-3 with a 2.88 goals-against average and an .888 save percentage. Lackey is 4-2-1 with a 3.12 GAA and an .881 save percentage.
  • Clayton Keller (9-8) paces the U17s with 17 points while Nick Pastujov (5-6) is second with 11 points. Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn./1-8) sits third with nine points while Patrick Khodorenko (3-5) is fourth with eight points. Five different players are tied for fifth with seven points each.
  • In goal for the U17s, Jake Oettinger and Joseph Woll split time. Oettinger is 2-4 with a 3.60 GAA and an .895 save percentage. Woll also is 2-4 with a 3.01 GAA and a .901 save percentage.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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