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Under-18 Team Drops 3-2 Decision to Muskegon in Shootout

By USA Hockey, 03/29/15, 6:15PM EDT


Auston Matthews & Brendan Warren Net Single Tallies for Team USA.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The U.S. National Under-18 Team scored late to send the game into overtime but ultimately dropped a 3-2 decision to the Muskegon Lumberjacks in a shootout here this evening at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The U18s finish the 2014-15 United States Hockey League season at 19-4-2 (W-L-OTL).

Muskegon notched the game's first goal on the power play at the 6:37 mark of the opening period. The U.S. countered 33 seconds later when Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) beat Jacks goaltender Michael Latorella. Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) had the initial blast from inside the blue line and earned an assist on the play.

The second power-play marker for Muskegon gave the Lumberjacks the one-goal edge at 3:09 in the second stanza. Team USA put 16 shots on Latorella in the period but were denied the equalizer and the U.S. headed to the third down 2-1.

Late in the third period and trailing by one, Team USA's Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) fired a shot on net that was blocked to Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.). Warren corralled the rebound, turned and snapped the puck past Latorella to send the game into overtime. Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) also collected a helper on the play.

The extra frame could not solve the deadlock and a shootout would be needed to decide a winner. Bracco scored for the Under-18 Team but Muskegon netted two goals to take the extra point in the standings and the victory over the U.S.

Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) made 22 saves in the shootout loss for the Under-18 Team.


The Under-18 Team outshot Muskegon, 48-23 ... Team USA went 0-4 on the power play while the Lumberjacks went 2-5 ... Auston Matthews closed out USHL play on a 13-game point streak. The forward recorded 11 goals and 18 helpers dating back to Feb. 20 ... Matthews (143) and Jeremy Bracco (149) continued their climb to third on the career points list. Andy Hilbert (Howell, Mich./1997-99) currently sits at third with 153 points ... The U18s and Muskegon met five times this season with Team USA taking three games and the Lumberjacks one ... Muskegon defenseman Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) skated for the NTDP from 2011-13.

1. Brendan Warren, Team USA

2. Luke Opilka, Team USA

3. Auston Matthews, Team USA

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