ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) notched two goals and added two assists as the U.S. National Under-18 Team overwhelmed Neumann University, 7-1, here tonight at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. With the victory, Team USA improves to 4-4-1 (W-L-T) versus NCAA Division I and III competition.
Team USA opened the scoring at 6:26 of the first frame when Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) circled the net and found Tkachuk to the right of the crease. Tkachuk knocked the puck past Matt Gibney for the tally. Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) also assisted. The U.S. doubled its lead, 2-0, 19 seconds later when Roslovic and Tkachuk connected once again, this time with Roslovic finding the back of the net. Masonius earned his second helper on the play. Neumann then cut the U18 lead in half with time winding down in the period.
Thirty-nine seconds into the second stanza Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) sent a shot past Gibney, off the pipe and in for Team USA's third marker. Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) helped create the play and earned an assist, along with Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.). Fischer scored to increase the lead to 4-1 after he gained the zone, shielding a defender away from the puck and lifting it up and over Gibney. Tkachuk and Terry registered assists on the score. The U.S. went up 5-1 over the Knights off Tkachuk’s second goal of the contest. Grant Gabriele (Brighton, Mich.) and Tage Thompson (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) collected assists.
Fischer added a goal, his second on the night, at 3:23 of the final frame. Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) collected the assist. Masonius earned his third point off a score at 12:42, making it 7-1 in favor of Team USA. Terry earned the only helper on Masonius' strike.
Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) made the start in net for the U18s, stopping 19 of 20 shots faced in the win.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team next hosts the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point tomorrow (Nov. 30) afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET. The contest can by seen live via streaming video at FASTHockey.com.
Team USA outshot Neumann University, 41-20 ... The U.S. went 0-4 on the power play while the Knights went 0-3 ... Tonight's game marked the first time these two squads have met ... This was the third of five games the U.S. National Under-18 Team will play against NCAA Division III opponents. The U18s will play the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Sunday afternoon in Ann Arbor before closing its NCAA Division III schedule with an outdoor game against Adrian College on Dec. 31, at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio ... Team USA is 1-1-0 (W-L-T) against DIII teams this year, with its most recent contest coming last weekend (Nov. 22) against Augsburg College in Minneapolis. The U18s won that game, 6-1.
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