PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) and Clayton Keller (Swanesa, Ill.) netted two goals each, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team earned two points in a 4-3 overtime win against the Green Bay Gamblers here tonight at USA Hockey Arena.
In the opening frame, the Gamblers struck first on the power play at 8:03. They again struck with 20 seconds left in the frame. The U18s had six shots on goal but could not convert, leaving the Gamblers with a 2-0 lead at the end of the period.
Bellows put Team USA on the board just 4:33 into the second stanza. Then, Keller tallied back-to-back goals at 6:27 and 19:46 to give the U18s a 3-2 lead to close the period.
In a relatively even third period, the Gamblers notched the equalizer off a faceoff at 14:26. With USA unable to score, the period ended knotted at three, and in overtime Bellows nabbed the game winner on a wrap-around chance for the 4-3 final score.
Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) made 26 saves, including all 11 attempts against in the second, in the victory for the Under-18 Team.
The U18s and the Gamblers are back in action tomorrow (Jan. 30) for the second of back-to-back meetings. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will stream live on FASTHockey.com.
Tomorrow’s game is also the National Team Development Program’s fifth annual Star Wars Night. The U18s will wear specialty Star Wars jerseys and characters from the Star Wars Universe will be on hand.