ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) scored one goal and goaltender Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) turned aside 34 shots, but the U.S. National Under-17 Team dropped the second game of a two-game weekend series to the Bloomington Thunder, 4-1, here this afternoon at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
Neither team found the back of the net in a defensive battle to open the game. The first frame saw Team USA getting outshot, 8-5, by Bloomington.
The Thunder managed to break through for the contest's first goal 5:36 into the second stanza and struck twice more in the middle period to build a 3-0 advantage after 40 minutes.
Team USA pulled to within a pair of goals midway through the third period when Pastujov tapped home a centering feed from Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn.) on the power play. After Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) sent the puck to Krys in the left circle, Krys hit Pastujov perfectly at the edge of the crease and Pastujov was able to send it to the back of the net for the power-play marker. The U17s pulled Oettinger in the final minute to push for the tying goals, but a Thunder empty-net tally with five seconds to play sealed the game.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team will next skate in its final international tournament of the season when it travels to Dmitrov, Russia, for the 2015 Five Nations Tournament. Team USA will skate in four games in four days between Feb. 3-6.
Team USA was outshot by Bloomington, 38-25 ... The Under-17s went 1-2 on the power play while the Thunder went 1-1 ... The two teams will do battle one final time March 21 in Bloomington, Illinois ... The Under-18 Team will travel to Bloomington for its last game against the Thunder on March 13.
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