YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Nicholas Boka (Plymouth, Mich.) and Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) each scored one goal but the U.S. National Under-18 Team was outpowered by the Youngstown Phantoms, 6-2, here tonight at the Covelli Centre. Team USA and Youngstown split the weekend series, 1-1.
The Phantoms struck first just 1:03 into the opening period. Fischer responded to tie the game at one apiece at 7:57.
Team USA grabbed the lead, 2-1, early in the second stanza when Boka found the back of the net. Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) collected assists on the play. The Phantoms then netted three straight goals, two on the power play, to seize control of the contest. The U18s entered second intermission down 4-2.
Youngstown iced the game with two tallies in the final frame. One of the markers came while the net was empty as Team USA tried to spark a comeback.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team will next travel to Madison, Wisconsin for a single contest against the University of Wisconsin on Friday, Dec. 12. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET at the Kohl Center.
Team USA was outshot by Youngstown, 38-30 ... The U.S. went 0-6 on the power play while the Phantoms went 2-5 ... Tonight's contest marked the fifth of six meetings between the U18 Team and Youngstown this year ... Steven Ruggiero (Kings Park, N.Y.) played for the Phantoms in 2013-14 ... Youngstown's Kyle Connor helped the 2014 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team win the gold medal at the IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship last April in Finland.
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