SARNIA, Ont. - Four different players scored and goaltender Joseph Woll (Dardenne Prairie, Mo.) made 17 saves to help the U.S. National Under-17 Team upend Sweden, 4-1, tonight in the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge semifinals at the RBC Centre. Team USA advances to face the winner of Finland / Russia in the title game.
Team Sweden opened the scoring midway through the first, but the U.S. answered at 14:30 to knot the score, 1-1, after 20 minutes of play. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane, Wash.) notched the tally when he moved to the slot in the offensive zone, took a pass from Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and one-timed the puck into the top corner of the net. Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) also recorded an assist on the play.
The United States doubled its lead midway through the second stanza on a goal by Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn.). After battling low in the zone, Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) fed Anderson a perfect pass up the middle of the ice. Anderson quickly sent a shot into the back of the net for the score.
Luke Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) and Max Jones (Rochester, Mich.) scored third-period goals, both with the man advantage, to seal the victory for the U.S. While up a skater, Martin crashed the net and knocked in a rebound. Jones and Keller collected assists on the play. Just two minutes later, Jones took a pass from Keller, turned to his forehand and flipped the puck past the Swedish netminder Filip Gustavsson. Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn.) registered the secondary assist.
The victory puts the U.S. in the tournament’s championship game tomorrow (Nov. 8) against either Finland or Russia. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. EST at the RBC Centre in Sarnia, Ont.
Clayton Keller was named U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Sweden, 37-17 … Team USA went 2-5 on the power play while Sweden was 0-4 with the man advantage ... The 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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