ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) notched two goals and Max Jones (Rochester, Mich.) added one goal, but the U.S. National Under-17 Team fell to the Madison Capitols, 6-3, here tonight at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. These two teams previously met last night with Team USA taking the first tilt, 4-3, in overtime.
The Capitols built a 2-0 lead by the midway point of the first period, but Keller scored on a tap-in from the edge of the crease with 7:09 left in the frame to pull Team USA within one after 20 minutes. Following a chance by Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn.) that sailed just wide of the net, Keller threw the puck around the wall to Luke Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) at the point. Martin stopped the puck and waited before sending a perfect backdoor pass to Keller for the goal.
Jones picked a corner while shorthanded with help from Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek, Calif.) to make it 2-2 five minutes into the middle frame, but Madison answered quickly on the power play to regain a one-goal lead. Keller notched his second tally of the night with help from Matthew Hellickson (Rogers, Minn.) and Griffin Luce (Williamsville, N.Y.) at 13 minutes of the frame. A late goal by the Capitols made it 4-3 after two periods.
Madison scored twice in the final frame to close out the 6-3 victory.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team next heads out on the road to play the Omaha Lancers and Sioux Falls Stampede in back-to-back nights (Feb. 20-21). Both games will be available online through FASTHockey.com.
Team USA was outshot by Madison, 38-31 ... The U.S. went 0-4 on the power play while the Capitols went 2-5 ... The National Team Development Program and Madison will do battle four total times in 2014-15, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team travels to Madison to play the Capitols next weekend (Feb. 20-21) ... NTDP alumnus Ryan Suter (2001-03/Madison, Wis.) is chairman of the Capitols. Suter, a star defenseman for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, was a member of the gold medal-winning 2002 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that earned the first-ever gold medal by a U.S. team at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship.
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