SUNDSVALL, Sweden - Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) recorded five points, including four assists, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team cruised past Finland, 8-1, here this evening at Anashallen Arena. The game was the first of three for Team USA at the 2014 Under-18 Four Nations Tournament.
The lone goal of the first frame came when Bracco attempted a centering pass from the right corner. The feed was blocked but ricocheted to Grant Gabriele (Brighton, Mich.) who teed up the puck and launched a slapshot past Veini Vehvilainen.
Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) doubled the U.S. lead at 4:31 while skating on a 5-on-3. From the bottom of the left face-off circle, Bracco found Warren far-side for the easy tap in. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) also assisted. Less than two minutes later, Team USA intercepted a Finnish pass and broke out towards center. Warren would collect the puck and drop it back to Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) for the score. Finland would net a shorthanded goal at 8:25, but the U.S. answered at 9:55 on the power play. Bracco found Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) to the side of the net and McAvoy knocked it past Vehvilainen. Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) also registered an assist on the play. In a similar play to Team USA's second and fourth tallies, Bracco set up Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) for a goal at 13:30. White again earned the secondary assist.
Bracco picked up a goal at 7:04 of the final frame to earn his fifth point on the evening. Kunin made a shovel pass to Bracco from the slot to help set up the play. White also collected an assist on Bracco's score, his third of the contest. Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) then hit Matthews, who was left alone in the slot, with a pass from the left corner. Matthews' wrister made it 7-1 in favor of Team USA. Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) earned the secondary assist. Warren closed out the scoring for the U.S. taking a feed from Terry behind the net. The power-play marker was also assisted on by Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.).
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) made the start today for Team USA, stopping 18 of 19 shots against. Vehvilainen turned aside 43 shots for Finland between the pipes.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team will resume tournament action tomorrow (Nov. 8) at 7 a.m. EST. The game will be held at Energi Arena in Sundsvall and can be seen live here.
Team USA outshot Finland, 51-19 ... The U.S. went 3-6 on the power play while Finland went 0-5 ... The official tournament website can be found here ... Tournament games will be broadcast live online here, on a pay-per-view basis ... Follow @USANTDP and @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for tournament updates and join the conversation on social media by using #4NationsU18 ... The roster is made up entirely of members of the 2014-15 U.S. National Under-18 Team, part of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program based in Ann Arbor, Michigan ... The U.S. squad is competing against teams from Finland, Sweden and Switzerland in the round-robin tournament ... The United States has won six of the last seven Under-18 Four Nations Tournaments, including the 2012 event, which was played at the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Ice Cube, home of the NTDP ... Don Granato (Downers Grove, Ill.) is leading the U.S. National Under-18 Team for the second time in the event, having previously coached the U.S. to a first-place finish in 2012. Joining Granato on the bench will be assistant coach Nick Fohr (Grand Forks, N.D.).
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