The U.S. National Under-17 Team begins the home portion of its schedule with two United States Hockey League contests this weekend at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. Meanwhile, the U18s hit the road for a pair of college contests.
HOME OPENER: The U17s finally open their home schedule with a pair of games against the Madison Capitols this Friday and Saturday at USA Hockey Arena. Face-off is set for 7 p.m. each night.
“We are excited to return home and play our first two games,” said U17 coach Don Granato, whose team has won three straight games. “Our players have been working hard, and it will be great to play in front of our fans.
“This has been a fun group of players to work with. We have plenty of work to do on the ice to get ready for this weekend, but I’m confident in this team’s ability to be prepared to play a tough USHL opponent.”
The U17s posted a pair of wins over Minnesota Elite League opponents over the weekend, beating Team North 5-1 on Saturday and Team Southeast 5-2 on Sunday.
Michael Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) potted a pair of goals in the first game while Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa.), Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) and Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich.) each had single tallies. Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Mich.) saved 24 shots to earn his first win of the season.
The following afternoon, five different players scored including Josh Maniscalco (Perkiomenville, Pa.), Grant Mismash (Edina, Minn.), Norris, Pastujov and Jacob Tortora (Victor, N.Y.) as the Under-17 Team completed the weekend sweep in Minnesota Elite League action. Adam Scheel (Lakewood, Ohio) turned aside 16 shots in the win for Team USA.
NORTHEAST SWING: The U18s head to New England for a pair of college contests this weekend. They play Boston University on Friday before facing Dartmouth College on Saturday.
“I think our players have learned, especially as we play college teams, we can’t let off the gas,” U18 coach Danton Cole said. “We need to be consistent, be strong and make the right reads and plays. For us, as we get ready to head into international play, this is going to be important.”
The U18s posted a win and a tie in their first home games this past weekend.
Zach Walker (Boise, Idaho), Ryan Lindgren (Minneapolis, Minn.), J.D. Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.), Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.), Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) and Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek, Calif.) posted the goals in the 6-1 win over Chicago on Friday. Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) kicked out 28 of 29 shots to earn the win.
The U18s skated to a 2-2 overtime tie against the University of Notre Dame on Sunday. Joseph Woll (St. Louis, Mo.) stopped 27 shots while Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) and Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) scored both goals.
“I think we have done a lot of work to begin the year,” Cole said. “To open the new building and get a win over Chicago and then get a tie against a tough Notre Dame team. It was a physical game, and the team battled and played great. It was such a cool atmosphere this weekend at the arena.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.