BENSENVILLE, Ill. - Tage Thompson (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) netted three goals while Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz./2-1) and Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio/0-3) each had three-point nights as the U.S. National Under-18 Team downed the Chicago Steel, 6-2, here tonight in United States Hockey League regular-season action at The Edge Ice Arena.
Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) opened the scoring for Team USA at 8:10 of the first frame. Roslovic and Matthews earned helpers on the play.
The U.S. tallied four-straight goals in the second stanza to build a 5-0 advantage. Thompson netted back-to-back markers, one on the power play, 14 seconds in and then at 6:07. Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) assisted on both goals with Grant Gabriele (Brighton, Mich.) collecting the secondary assist on the second Thompson strike. Matthews then potted two in a row at 8:55 and 14:46. Roslovic and Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) assisted on Matthews' first goal. Roslovic and Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) teamed up for the goal at 14:46.
Thompson completed the hat trick 7:29 into the final period to give Team USA a 6-0 lead. The power-play goal was assisted on by Steven Ruggiero (Kings Park, N.Y.) and Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa). Chicago went on to score two goals, one with the man advantage, but the U.S. won handily, 6-2.
Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) made 21 saves in the victory for the Under-18 Team.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team takes to the ice next Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 17-18) in Ann Arbor for a two-game set against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Game time Saturday is at 7:00 p.m. ET, while puck-drop Sunday is slated for 3:30 p.m. Both games can be seen live on FASTHockey.com.
The Under-18 Team outshot Chicago, 27-23 … Team USA went 2-4 with the man advantage while the Steel went 1-3 … The National Team Development Program and Chicago will do battle a total of six times this season, as the U18s are scheduled to play the Steel twice more in 2014-15 (March 14 at Chicago; March 27 in Ann Arbor) and the U17s have three games on tap against Chicago (Jan. 16-17 in Ann Arbor; April 4 at Chicago).
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