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Notebook (Nov. 17) - U18s Face Two College Foes in Minneapolis

By Becky Olsen, 11/17/14, 2:00PM EST


U18s coming off two-game USHL sweep over weekend.

The U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 squads are both in action this week. The U18s hit the road for a pair of college contests while the U17s return to United States Hockey League action with two games.

NORTH STAR STATE SHOWDOWN: The U18 Team heads north to Minneapolis this weekend to face the University of Minnesota on Friday and Augsburg College on Saturday.

“We have a tough weekend of games,” head coach Don Granato said. “We are going to see two different teams with different styles. We will continue to work on different areas of our game as we prepare for Minnesota and Augsburg.”

Minnesota was ranked No. 4 in the most recent USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine College Hockey Poll. Augsburg plays in Division III.

The U18s swept a pair of USHL opponents over the weekend, beating Bloomington 4-3 in a shootout on Friday and Muskegon 9-3 on Sunday.

Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) scored the game-winning goal in the eight-round shootout against Bloomington. Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.), Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Caleb Jones (Frisco, Texas) tallied the goals in regulation. Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) finished with 29 saves and stopped all eight shootout attempts.

A five-goal second period propelled the U18s over Muskegon. Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.), Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa), Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.), Matthews and Warren all scored in the period. Warren also scored a second goal, while Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.), Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) and Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) rounding out the scoring. Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) finished with 19 stops between the pipes.

“We had a good weekend, beating two tough USHL opponents,” Granato said. “There are always areas of the game that we must work on, and we will watch video and start preparations for our next opponents.”

BYE TO THE BYE WEEK: Fresh off a bye week following their second-place showing at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia, Ontario, the U17s return to action with a pair of games against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Friday and Saturday. Cedar Rapids enters this week’s play with a 13-2 record.

The U17s have been off since Nov. 8 when they dropped a 2-1 decision to Russia in the championship game of World U17 Challenge.


  • Tickets for home games played at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube are $7 for adults and $5 for children, seniors and active military members. Youth hockey players wearing their team jerseys are admitted for $1 and group rates are available. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling the NTDP at (734) 327-9251.
  • Tickets are now on sale for the 2014 U17 Four Nations Tournament, which will be held Dec. 16-20 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The tournament will feature the U.S. National Under-17 squad as well as teams from Russia, Slovakia and Switzerland. Each team participates in three round-robin contests before the medal-round games on Saturday Dec. 20. Tournament passes include tickets to all games and are $40 for adults and $20 for seniors and children. Single-day tickets are also available and include access to two games. Prices are $12 for adults, $7 for seniors and children, and $5 for groups of 10 or more. All tickets are general admission. To purchase tickets, call (734) 327-9251 or submit an online ticket order form here.
  • Former National Team Development Program defenseman Jordan Leopold (Golden Valley, Minn./1997-98) was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets from the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. He has played more 660 games in the National Hockey League.
  • Boston University and former NTDP forward Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass./2012-14) was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week on Nov. 10. He scored the game-tying goal against Boston College and had three assists against UConn.
  • Miami University and former NTDP forward Riley Barber (Livonia, Mich./2010-12) earned National Collegiate Hockey Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for the week of Nov. 3-9. Barber tallied two goals and four points in the Red Hawks’ two-game sweep of Colorado College.
  • Former NTDP player Shane Gersich (Chaska, Minn./2013-14), now with Omaha, was selected to play for the U.S. Junior Select Team that will compete at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge from Dec. 14-20 in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.
  • Five former NTDP players dot the University of Minnesota roster: Travis Boyd (Hopkins, Minn./2009-11), Ryan Collins (Bloomington, Minn./2012-14), Hudson Fasching (Burnsville, Minn./2011-13), Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn./2012-14) and Brady Skjei (Lakeville, Minn./2010-12).
  • Jeremy Bracco (12-29) paces the U18s with 41 points while Auston Matthews (13-22) ranks second with 35 points. Matthew Tkachuk (12-14) sits third with 26 points. Colin White (Hanover, Mass./9-10) and Christian Fischer (8-11) are tied for fourth with 19 points each.
  • In goal for the U18s, Michael Lackey and Luke Opilka split time. Opilka is 8-3 with a 2.71 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage while Lackey is 7-2-1 with a 2.98 GAA and an .880 save percentage.
  • The U17s are led by Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill./14-15), who has 29 points in 17 contests. Max Jones (Rochester Mich./11-6) is second with 17 points. Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn./1-15) and Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla./7-9) are tied for third with 16 points apiece. Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn./6-6) and Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek, Calif./3-9) are tied for fifth with 12 points each.
  • In goal for the U17s, Joseph Woll (Dardenne Praire, Mo.) and Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) continue to split time. Woll is 4-4 with a 2.79 GAA and a .902 save percentage while Oettinger is 4-5 with a 2.76 GAA and a .906 save percentage.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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