ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Max Jones (Rochester, Mich.) and Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) each scored goals, but the U.S. National Under-17 Team was knocked off in a shootout by the NAHL Selects squad, 3-2, here this evening at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The 2015 North American Hockey League Top Prospects 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.
The NAHL Selects scored the lone goal of the opening frame, but two quick strikes in the second period gave Team USA a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Jones put the U.S. on the board 12:27 into the middle stanza when he took a long pass from Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek, Calif.), skated in on a breakaway and snuck a shot through Ryan Bednard's pads. Then, just 24 second later, Keller found the back of the net to put the Under-17 Team in front. Jones forced a turnover in the right circle and scooped the puck to Keller all alone in front. Keller made a move, waited and then slid the puck just inside the post.
The NAHL Selects tied the game late in the third period before clinching the victory in the shootout.
Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) started between the pipes for Team USA and stopped 19 of the 21 shots thrown his way.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team gets this weekend off before returning to action on Saturday, March 7, at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube versus the Waterloo Black Hawks. The game starts at 7 p.m. ET and can be seen live on FASTHockey.com.
Team USA outshot the NAHL Selects, 27-21 ... The U.S. went 0-4 on the power play while the Selects went scoreless on two power-play chances ... The NAHL Selects roster was made up of four players born in 1995, six in 1996 and 10 in 1997. Twenty of 21 players that suited up for Team USA tonight were born in 1998.
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