DAWSON CREEK, British Columbia - The U.S. National Under-17 Team topped Canada Black, 6-1, tonight in its final preliminary match-up of the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. With the victory, Team USA finishes the preliminary round undefeated (3-0), earning the top seed in Group A. The U.S. moves on to the quarterfinals, facing Sweden Thursday (Nov. 5) at 4:30 p.m. ET.
In the opening period, Team USA controlled a majority of the play, culminating in the first U.S. goal at 7:13. Nate Knoepke (Farmington, Minn.) took a shot from the top of the right circle and Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.), waiting at the top of the crease, hammered in the rebound. Just 2:45 later, Knoepke shoveled the puck out of the right corner to Scott Reedy (Prior Lake, Minn.) stationed at the edge of the crease. He accepted the puck on his backhand, pulled it around the goaltender to his forehand, and tucked it under the netminder for the 2-0 lead.
In the latter half of the second period, with a 5-on-3 man advantage, Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) wired a pass from the top of the slot to Reedy near the goal mouth. Reedy made a cross-crease spin pass to Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich.) for an easy tap-in goal. Still holding a one-man advantage, David Farrance (Victor, N.Y.) ripped a point shot that found it’s way past Canada’s Jacob McGrath for the fourth USA goal.
Canada managed to get on the board at 15:23 of the period. But just as Canada Black was picking up offensive steam, Farrance sprung Joey Cassetti (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Randy Hernandez (Miami, Fla.) for a 2-on-1 opportunity. Cassetti maneuvered a pass around the Canadian defender to Hernandez, giving the U.S. a 5-1 lead to end the period.
Team USA tallied its sixth marker in the third period when Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa.) and Reedy dug the puck out from behind the Canadian net and sent it to Tkachuk waiting at the top of the crease for an easy one-time shot and the 6-1 final score.
U.S. goaltender Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Mich.) stopped 17-of-18 Canadian shots he faced.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team meets Sweden in quarterfinal play on Thursday (Nov. 4) at 4:30 p.m. ET at the Encana Events Centre in Dawson Creek. Live statistics and streaming can be found here. The winner will move on to the semifinals, facing either Canada White or Finland.
Brady Tkachuk was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. outshot Canada Black, 30-18 … Team USA was 2-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill during tonight’s contest … Scott Reedy is second among skaters in tournament points (7) and goals (4). Tkachuk (2-3) and Evan Barratt (1-4) also place among the top-10 in tournament points … Dylan St. Cyr is second among tournament goaltenders with a .956 save percentage. See St. Cyr’s highlight-reel save to keep Team USA’s 2-0 lead intact midway through tonight's second period here … Team USA is the only team to finish preliminary play 3-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) … The U.S. outscored its opponents, 19-7, in the preliminary round, the highest goal differential in the event ... Follow @USAHockeyNTDP and @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for tournament updates and join the conversation on social media, using #WU17USA.