ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Thirteen players registered at least one point and goaltender Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) turned aside 31 shots as the U.S. National Under-18 Team cruised past the Dubuque Fighting Saints, 7-1, here tonight at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
Caleb Jones (Frisco, Texas) and Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) scored 33 seconds apart in the first period to give the U.S. a 2-0 edge after 20 minutes. Jones got the scoring started when he took a pass from Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) at the right point and beat Fighting Saints goaltender Jacob Nehama with a quick shot under the blocker. Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) had the second assist on the play. Kunin converted after a three-on-two for Team USA with help from Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) and Tage Thompson (Oyster Bay, N.Y.). After taking a pass from Tkachuk, Kunin beat the defender wide, moved the puck to his backhand and slid it through Nehama's pads.
Casey Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass.) scored with help from Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) and Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) 1:15 into the middle period, and Roslovic made it 4-0 at 4:50 on a one-timer from Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.). Kunin netted his second of the game just after the midway point of the frame with helpers going to McAvoy and Thompson. The teams traded goals in the final minute of the stanza, with Dubuque scoring with 43 seconds left and McAvoy burying with eight seconds before the intermission. Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) and Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) had the assists on McAvoy's tally.
Bracco scored the lone goal of the third period with just 6:46 remaining in the contest. Tkachuk and Matthews recorded the assists on the goal.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team and Dubuque cap their weekend series tomorrow (Jan. 18) afternoon at the Ice Cube. Puck drop is slated for 3:30 p.m. ET and can be seen live on FASTHockey.com.
Team USA outshot Dubuque, 34-32 … Both teams were held scoreless in two power play opportunities ... This weekend's two-game series with Dubuque will be the only regular-season meetings between the U18s and the Fighting Saints this year ... The Under-17 Team plays Dubuque once more in 2014-15 when it travels to play the Fighting Saints March 20.
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