ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Eight players scored goals and 15 skaters registered at least one point as the U.S. National Under-18 Team routed the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 9-3, in United States Hockey League action at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube here today.
Muskegon opened the scoring 14:17 into the opening frame, but Team USA responded 10 seconds later and scored the next nine goals. Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) started the onslaught with a snipe from the right circle off a feed from Tage Thompson (Oyster Bay, N.Y.). Then, with just 18 seconds left in the first period, Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) batted home a rebound from the edge of the crease to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead entering the first intermission. Fischer and Joe Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) collected assists on the play.
The Under-18 Team stormed out of the gate in the middle frame and buried the puck five times in the stanza. Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) took a pass from Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) at the bottom of the left circle and sent a shot into the top corner at 5:20. Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) also assisted on the play. Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa) scored six minutes later with a rocket from the point. Thompson and Greenway were credited with helpers on Evers' tally. Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) made it 5-1 at 13:57 when he tapped a cross-crease pass from Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) into the back of the net. Steven Ruggiero (Kings Park, N.Y.) earned the secondary assist on the goal. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) scored at 17:35 with help from Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio), and Warren scored with just 1:11 remaining in the period to give the U.S. a 7-1 advantage entering the final 20 minutes of play.
Warren notched his second of the game 10:41 into the third period with help from Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Floodstrand before Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) scooped the puck into the top corner 33 seconds later to bump Team USA's lead to 9-1. Muskegon scored twice late in the contest to close out the 9-3 affair.
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) started for the Under-18 Team in goal and turned away 19 shots in the victory.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team resumes the NCAA portion of its schedule next weekend with a two-game trip to Minnesota. The U18s will play top-ranked Minnesota Friday (Nov. 21) before taking on Division III Augsburg College Saturday (Nov. 22).
Team USA outshot Muskegon, 45-22 … The U.S. went 2-5 with the man advantage while Muskegon went 1-3 ... The National Team Development Program and Muskegon have now met six times this season, with the U18s involved in four of those contests and U17s in two. The Under-18 Team is 3-1 against the Lumberjacks this year, while the younger NTDP squad is 0-2 ... The NTDP and Muskegon will meet a total of 10 times this winter ... No other USHL team will play the NTDP as often as Muskegon this season.
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