Team USA beat Finland 2-1 in overtime on Sunday to claim its ninth gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men’s World Championship. The tournament began April 16 in Switzerland.
Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) scored the game winner at the 12:44 mark of the extra session. Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) tallied the first goal, while Evan Sarthou (Black Diamond, Wash.) made 19 stops in the victory.
Team USA advanced to the title game with a 7-2 win over Canada in the semifinals on Saturday. White completed a hat trick to pace the offense and Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) added a pair of goals. Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) and Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) also scored. Sarthou earned the win with 16 stops.
In the quarterfinals on Thursday, Team USA beat the Czech Republic 7-2. Matthews and Luke Kunin (Chesterfield Mo.) each scored a pair of goals. Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.), Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) and Keller also scored. Sarthou made 12 stops.
The squad closed out round-robin play with 13-1 victory over Germany on Tuesday. Team USA finished second in the Group A standings with a 3-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.
Kunin and Roslovic each tallied hat tricks against Germany. Bracco, Matthews, White, Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.), Nicholas Boka (Plymouth, Mich.), Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) and Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) also scored. Sarthou finished with 14 stops.
The tournament win marked Team USA’s 13th medal at the U18 World Championship, the most of any country. The U18s have nine goals medals (2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015), three silvers (2004, 2007, 2013) and one bronze (2008).
Team USA has won 12 straight medals in the U18 World Championship and has played in the gold-medal game for seven straight seasons.
The U.S. is 7-1-0-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in 11 all-time appearances in the gold-medal game at the U18 World Championship, including wins in six of the last seven championship games.
Auston Matthews earned the IIHF Directorate Award for Best Forward. In doing so, Matthews joins James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J./2007), Bill Sweatt (Elburn, Ill./2006) and Phil Kessel (Madison, Wis./2005) as the other Team USA forwards to earn the distinction.
Matthews, Colin White and Matthew Tkachuk were named Team USA’s best three players of the tournament.
Matthews led the tournament with 15 points (8-7), while Jeremy Bracco was second with 13 points (3-10). Tkachuk was tied for third with 12 points (2-10) and Jack Roslovic tied for fifth with 11 points (6-5). White (6-3) and Clayton Keller (4-5) tied for eighth with nine points each.
Among defensemen, Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn./1-4) and Caleb Jones (Frisco, Texas/0-5) tied for third with five points. Casey Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass./1-3) and Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y./0-4) tied for seventh with four points each.
Luke Kunin won 67.35 percent of his face-offs, finishing second in the tournament, while White was fifth at 63.64 percent. Troy Terry placed 10th at 57.3 percent.
Goalie Evan Sarthou led the tournament with a 1.15 goals-against average.
The U18s finished the year paced by Auston Matthews (55-61), who recorded an NTDP record 116 points in 60 games. Matthew Tkachuk (38-58) was second with 96 points, while Jeremy Bracco (30-64) placed third with 94 points. Rounding out the top five were Jack Roslovic (27-52) and Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill./31-33), with 79 and 64 points, respectively.
Ten additional players will join USA Hockey's National Team Development Program for the 2015-16 season. They are forwards Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa.), Joseph Cassetti (Pleasanton, Calif.), Randy Hernandez (Miami, Fla.), Logan Hutsko (Morristown, N.J.), Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich.) and Graham Slaggert (South Bend, Ind.); defensemen Tyler Inamoto (Barrington, Ill.) and Philip Kemp (Greenwich, Conn.); and goaltenders Adam Scheel (Lakewood, Ohio) and Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Mich.). The players, all from the 1999 birth year, will compete as members of the U.S. National Under-17 Team.
The IIHF U18 Men’s World Championship will be held in the United States for the second time when the tournament heads to Grand Forks, North Dakota, next April. The main venue will be Ralph Engelstad Arena, home to the University of North Dakota men’s and women’s hockey programs. The first time the U.S. hosted the U18 World Championship was in 2009, when Team USA won a gold medal in Fargo, North Dakota.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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