MONTHEY, Switzerland - Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) made 19 saves and three different players scored one goal in each of the three periods as the U.S. National Under-18 Team topped the Czech Republic, 3-1, here this afternoon at Patinoire de Monthey. The contest was the first of four games for the United States at the 2015 Five Nations Tournament.
Team USA opened the scoring off the stick of Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) at the 6:25 mark of the first period. Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) assisted on the tally. The U.S. outshot the Czech Republic, 17-4, in the frame.
Following a shortened USA power play to open the second stanza, the Czechs struck back to tie the game. Zach Walker (Boise, Idaho) was awarded a penalty shot after being tripped at 12:48, but was denied on his attempt and the score remained knotted, 1-1. Keller staked the lead back for the U.S. when he lit the lamp on the power play late in the period. Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) collected helpers on the go-ahead goal.
Will Lockwood (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) added the insurance goal in the closing minutes of the contest to help ice the victory, 3-1, in favor of the United States. Keeghan Howdeshell (Brighton, Mich.) and Luke Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) earned the assists on Lockwood's marker. Oettinger stopped all eight shots he faced in the third to preserve the win.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team continues round-robin play tomorrow (Nov. 5) against Sweden. The puck drops at 2:30 p.m. ET at Patinoire de Monthey.
Defenseman Chad Krys was recognized as the Best Player of the Game for the United States ... Team USA outshot the Czech Republic, 38-20 ... The U.S. went 1-for-3 on the power play while killing off all five Czech advantages ... The roster is made up entirely of members of the 2015-16 U.S. National Under-18 Team, part of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program based in Plymouth, Michigan. A complete United States roster can be found here ... Team USA is competing against teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland in the tournament ... Traditionally, the November international event is a Four Nations Tournament, an event the U.S. has won seven of the last eight times ... The official tournament website can be found here ... Follow @USAHockeyNTDP and @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for tournament updates and join the conversation on social media by using the #5NationsU18 tag.