PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) tallied two goals and Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) posted the game winner, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team powered past the Chicago Steel, 5-2, here tonight at USA Hockey Arena.
In the opening period the teams traded chances, but it was Chicago who found the back of the net first at 11:50. Team USA notched the equalizer just five minutes later when Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) passed across the slot to Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn.) who lit the lamp. With under a minute to go, Fox fired a shot from the top right circle to end the period 2-1 in USA’s favor.
During the second stanza, USA increased their lead when Pastujov fired a shot top shelf from the bottom left circle. The two-goal lead was short lived as Chicago found the back of the net 40 seconds later. Trent Frederic's (St.Louis, Mo.) marker helped the U18s regain its two-goal lead with six minutes left to end the period 4-2.
Neither team was able to convert until the final minutes of the game when Fox saucered the puck from the defensive zone into an empty net for the 5-2 final score.
The National Team Development Program is back in action tomorrow (Dec. 30) when the U.S. National Under-17 Team faces the Muskegon Lumberjacks at USA Hockey Arena. Tomorrow’s 2 p.m. matinee is Superhero Day; the first 500 kids (10-and-under) will receive an NTDP cape. The game will stream live at FASTHockey.com.