ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Fifteen different players registered at least one point as the U.S. National Under-18 Team cruised past Team South, 9-2, at the 2015 North American Hockey League Top Prospects Tournament. The tournament is being held at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube, home of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, and features teams from the NAHL, NAPHL and NA3HL.
Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) opened the scoring for Team USA at 3:59 of the first frame. Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) and Steven Ruggiero (Kings Park, N.Y.) earned assists. The U.S. lead doubled off the stick of Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) who potted a goal at 17:15. Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) and Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) collected helpers on the play.
Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) pushed the Under-18 Team lead to three goals just 70 seconds into the middle stanza. Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) recorded the lone assist. Team South scored at 5:26 to cut into the U.S. lead, 3-1. Team USA answered 21 seconds later when Tkachuk lit the lamp. Roslovic and Matthews teamed together to help set up the goal. Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) tallied the fifth U.S. goal at 6:24 with Nicholas Boka (Plymouth, Mich.) assisting. Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) joined the scoring parade midway through the second converting on a set up by Matthews and Tkachuk. Terry then found Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) just over a minute later to give Team USA a 7-1 advantage.
Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) and Greenway connected with Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) for a goal 68 seconds into the final frame. The U.S. and Team South traded markers late in the period with Greenway potting Team USA's goal. Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Terry collected helpers on Greenway's score.
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) made the start in net for the Under-18 Team and kicked out 25 shots in the win.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team returns to United States Hockey League action this weekend (Feb. 27-28) in Green Bay. Both contests are scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET at the Resch Center. A live, streaming broadcast can be seen online through FASTHockey.com.
Team USA outshot Team South, 30-27 ... The U.S. went 0-1 on the power play while Team South went 0-1 ... Team South's roster was composed of 12 players born in 1994, five in 1995 and three in 1996. All 22 players on the U.S. National Under-18 Team was born in 1997 ... Players on Team South are from the NAHL South Division and teams represented include: Amarillo Bulls, Corpus Christi IceRays, Lone Star Brahmas, Odessa Jackalopes, Topeka RoadRunners and Wichita Falls Wildcats.
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