PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn.) tallied two goals as the U.S. National Under-18 Team toppled the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 5-3, here tonight at USA Hockey Arena.
Team USA was first to light the lamp, on the power play, midway through the opening frame when Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) fed the puck to Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) near center ice. Bellows skated up the right wing, cut across the net front and slid the puck behind Muskegon goaltender Joey Daccord. Then at 5:32, the U.S. built a 2-0 lead when Keeghan Howdeshell (Brighton, Mich.) sent a cross-ice stretch pass to Graham McPhee (Bethesda, Mo.), as he exited the penalty box. Muskegon halved the U18 lead late in the frame to close it, 2-1.
During the middle stanza, the U18s regained their two-goal advantage at 9:48 as Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.), on the power play, took a shot near the bottom of the left circle through a crowd and the puck trickled in. Muskegon answered less than two minutes later to pull back within a marker.
Mittelstadt extended the U.S. lead, 4-2, early in the final frame when he fired a shot from the top of the slot. The Lumberjacks picked up another power-play marker at 12:36 to again come back within a goal. However, Mittlestadt sealed the victory on a breakaway past the midway point of the third for the 5-3 final score.