Photo by Rena Laverty
SUNDSVALL, Sweden - Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich.) registered three assists for the U.S. National Under-18 Team in its 3-1 victory against the Czech Republic at the 2017 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament on Friday evening at the Högslättens Ishall Arena.
Michael Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) opened the scoring for the U18s at the 12:21 mark of the first period when he picked up a loose puck in front of Czech Republic goaltender Tomas Vomacka and deposited it past his outstretched glove. Norris and Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) earned assists on the play.
Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) added his second goal of the tournament at the 13:17 mark of the second period when he wristed a shot from the point on a 5-3 power play. Scott Reedy (Prior Lake, Minn.) and Norris registered helpers on the power play goal.
Grant Mismash (Edina, Minn.) widened the U.S. lead to 3-0 just over three minutes later when Norris deked around Vomacka and fed a cross-crease pass to Mismash, who deposited a wrist shot into the empty net. Nate Knoepke (Farmington, Minn.) also picked up an assist on the play.
The U18s headed into the second intermission with a 3-0 lead.
Despite outshooting the U.S. 12-9 in the third period, the Czech Republic was only able to muster one goal that came on the power play at the 14:46 mark.
U.S. goaltender Adam Scheel (Lakewood, Ohio) stopped a barrage of extra attacker shots in the final moments to cap the victory for Team USA.
Scheel finished the night with 33 saves on 34 shots to earn his first international victory of the season. Vomacka made 36 saves in the loss.
With the victory, the U.S. sits atop the tournament leaderboards with six points and a record of 2-0-0.
Their remaining games are with Russia (1-0-1) on Saturday at 7 a.m. ET and Sweden (1-1-0) on Sunday at 6 a.m. ET.
NOTES: Team USA went 1-5 on the power play and 3-4 on the penalty kill … The U18s outshot the Czech Republic 39-34 … The U.S. led in faceoffs (41-23) ... Mismash leads the tournament in goals (3) and points (5) … Follow @USAHockeyNTDP on Twitter for tournament updates and join the conversation on social media by using the hashtags #5NationsU18.
Michael Pastujov Goal: 12:21 1st Pd.
Michael Pastujov Goal (PP): 13:17 2nd Pd.
Grant Mismash Goal: 16:30 2nd Pd.