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U17s Top Finland, 3-2, in Comeback OT Victory

By, 02/10/17, 2:45PM EST


Mattias Samuelsson Scores Game Winner 1:51 into OT

BRNO, Czech RepublicMattias Samuelsson (Voorhees, N.J.) scored the game-winner 1:51 into overtime as the U.S. National Under-17 Team fought back from one-goal deficits twice and eventually topped Finland, 3-2, at the 2017 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament here today at DRFG Arena.

With the victory, the U.S. improves to 1-1-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) and currently sits in first place in the standings. Team USA will play its final game of the tournament at 12:30 p.m. ET tomorrow (Feb. 11) against host country Czech Republic.

Finland got on the board first 4:22 into the matchup when a shot deflected high and wide and rebounded to Jesse Moilanen, who finished it for the go-ahead goal.

With about 1:30 to play in the period, Jonathan Gruden (Rochester, Mich.) had a chance to even the score as he found himself streaking alone into Finland’s zone, but his attempt trickled just wide of the right post.

At 6:56 of the second frame during a Team USA penalty kill, Ty Emberson (Eau Claire, Wis.) sent a pass off the boards to Patrick Giles (Chevy Chase, Md.), who took off on a breakaway and put the puck past goaltender Justus Annunen to make it 1-1.

Lenni Killinen regained the lead for Finland with 1:58 remaining in the second frame, putting Team USA at a 2-1 deficit.

Just :10 into a U.S. power play at 7:20 of the third stanza, Jake Wise (North Andover, Mass.) blasted a one-timer off a feed from Samuelsson into the upper right corner of the net to even the game at 2-2.

Despite chances on both ends on the final minutes of the period, neither team could find the back of the net and the game headed to overtime.

At 1:51 of the five-minute overtime period, Samuelsson collected the puck below the Finnish goal line, wrapped around the net and slid it past Annunen for the U.S. victory.

NOTES: Patrick Giles was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Keegan Karki (Sartell, Minn.) got the win in net for Team USA ... The U.S. is competing in the 2017 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament with Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden ... Follow along on Twitter at @usahockeyntdp and using the hashtag #5NationsU17.

Wed., Feb. 8 Sweden L, 3-2
Thurs., Feb. 9 Russia W, 4-3
Fri., Feb. 10 Finland W, 3-2
Sat., Feb. 11 Czech Republic W, 4-2

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