Coming off their first international breaks of the season, both National Team Development Program squads have a quiet week planned in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The U.S. National Under-18 Team will play two home games this weekend while the U17s have a bye week.
HOME SWEET HOME: The U18s host the Bloomington Thunder on Friday and the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Sunday in United States Hockey League action. Friday’s game starts at 7 p.m. EST while Sunday’s contest is at 3:30 p.m.
The home games will be a welcome respite after the U18 squad traveled to Sundsvall, Sweden, last week and won all three games to capture the Four Nations Tournament title. Team USA beat Finland 8-1 on Friday, Switzerland 7-1 on Saturday and Sweden 6-4 on Sunday.
In the opening game, Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) scored one goal and had four assists while Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich./2-1) and Colin White (Hanover, Mass./0-3) had three points apiece. Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.), Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Grant Gabriele (Brighton, Mich.), Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) also registered goals. Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) earned the win in net, stopping 18 shots.
Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) tallied a hat trick against Switzerland. White had a pair of tallies while Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) and Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) added single markers. Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) kicked out 26 of 27 shots to earn the win.
In the finale against Sweden, Matthews tallied a pair of goals while Gabriele, Roslovic, White and Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa) had single markers in the win. Lackey finished with 21 saves.
In a tune up to the Four Nations Tournament, the U18s posted a 4-3 win over Sweden on Wednesday. Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.), White, Kunin and Bracco posted the goals while Opilka finished with 32 stops.
Matthews led the U.S. at the Four Nations Tournament with nine points (3-6) while Bracco was second with eight points (1-7). Roslovic finished third with seven points (4-3) and White was fourth with six points (3-3).
In the three tournament games, Lackey finished with a 2-0 mark along with a 2.50 goals-against average and an .886 save percentage. Opilka was 1-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .963 save percentage.
BYE WEEK: Fresh off a second-place showing at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia, Ontario, the U17s have a week off before returning to action on Nov. 21 against Cedar Rapids.
Team USA reached the championship game at the World U17 Challenge by sweeping the preliminary round with a perfect 3-0 record and then beating Canada Black in the quarterfinals and Sweden in the semifinals. However, Team USA fell just short of the championship in a 2-1 loss to Russia in Saturday’s title game.
One day earlier, Team USA beat Sweden 4-1 in the semifinals. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane, Wash.), Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn.), Luke Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) and Jones registered the goals. Goalie Joseph Woll (Dardenne Prairie, Mo.) had 16 saves.
In the quarterfinals, Anderson registered a pair of goals to pace the offense in a 4-1 win over Canada Black. Jones and Yamanoto also scored for Team USA. In net, Oettinger finished with 23 saves. Team USA’s preliminary wins came against Sweden (6-3 on Nov. 2), Slovakia (7-1 on Nov. 3) and Canada Red (7-3 on Nov. 4).
Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) led all skaters at the World U17 Challenge with 13 points (6-7) while Jones ranked second with 11 points (7-4). Other Team USA players in the top 10 in scoring were: Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.), who ranked fifth with eight points (3-5); Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn.), who tied for sixth with seven points (0-7); and Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek, Calif.), who tied for eighth with six points (1-5).
Oettinger led the tournament with a 1.34 GAA and placed second with a .934 save percentage. Woll finished fifth with a 2.34 GAA and was sixth in save percentage at .905.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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