ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) scored three times - including the game-winner in overtime - to propel the U.S. National Under-17 Team past Green Bay, 5-4, in USHL action at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube tonight.
Green Bay connected for the game's first goal at 1:57 of the opening frame, but Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn.) found the back of the net three minutes later to knot the score. Keller started the play when he chipped a loose puck to Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) in the right corner. Pastujov gathered the puck, moved to his left and fed Anderson in the slot, where Anderson one-timed a shot between Gamblers' goaltender Jason Pawloski's right leg and the post.
Keller put the U.S. up, 2-1, just 1:46 into the middle stanza. Following a turnover inside the Green Bay blue line, Pastujov scooped the puck to Keller streaking down the slot. Keller lost his balance and fell to one knee, but managed to backhand a shot over Pawloski's blocker and in. Then, just six minutes later, Ryan Lindgren (Minneapolis, Minn.) buried the puck into the net to double the Team USA advantage. Off an offensive-zone draw, Paul Washe (Troy, Mich.) moved the puck to Trent Frederic (St. Louis, Mo.) below the goal line. Frederic sent a pass up the middle to Lindgren at the point, and he put a shot into the top corner through traffic for his first-career National Team Development Program goal.
The Gamblers scored three times in the first 11:30 of the third frame to take a 4-3 lead, but the U17s battled back and forced overtime. After drawing a penalty, Keller took a pass from Anderson, walked to the left circle and potted his shot on the power play with 6:35 to play in regulation, tying the game at 4-4. Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) also assisted on the play.
Team USA drew another penalty with just three seconds remaining in the third and carried the power play into the extra session, where Keller struck again - this time from the slot - to clinch the win. Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Fox registered helpers on the game-winner.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team and Green Bay wrap up a two-game weekend series tomorrow (Jan. 3) at 7 p.m. ET at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The game can be watched live online at FASTHockey.com.
Team USA outshot Green Bay, 28-25 … The U.S. National Under-17 Team went 2-for-2 on the power play, while the Gamblers finished 0-for-4 … The NTDP will meet the Gamblers four total times this season, as both the U17s and U18s are scheduled to match up against Green Bay twice. The Under-18 Team will travel to Green Bay, Wis., in February for a two-game set ... Trent Frederic’s brother Grant is a Green Bay defenseman ... NTDP alumni Joe Wegwerth (Brewster, N.Y./2012-14) plays for the Gamblers and ranks fourth on the team in points with 15 in 25 outings.
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