Nine U.S. players recorded points, including three multi-point performances, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team beat the Youngstown Phantoms, 5-3, in its United States Hockey League regular season home opener here tonight at USA Hockey Arena.
At 11:10 of the first period, Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) tucked in a loose puck in the Youngstown crease on a Team USA power play, but Youngstown's Coale Norris evened the score just :25 later.
Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich.) snapped a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot at 2:24 of the second frame to gain a 2-1 advantage for the U.S. With 11:36 on the clock, Jacob Tortora (Victor, N.Y.) chased a dumped puck deep into Youngstown zone. From behind the goal line, he banked the puck off the back of goaltender Darion Hanson's leg into the net.
Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa.) finished a rebound off a shot from the point by Max Gildon (Plano, Texas) at 13:03 to bring the score to 4-1.
At 6:49 of the final frame, Youngstown's Alex Esposito redirected a high puck that made its way into the U.S. net, but the play was deemed a high stick and the goal was disallowed.
Gildon's shot from the blue line was tipped in by Graham Slaggert (South Bend, Ind.) at 11:30. Youngstown added two goals in the final minute of play to account for the 5-3 final.
Goaltender Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Mich.) made 23 stops in the win, while Hanson stopped 31.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team's next game is at 7:15 p.m. ET at L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Michigan, against the USHL's Muskegon Lumberjacks.