Photo by Rena Laverty
The U.S. National Under-18 Team held on to an early first-period lead Friday night at Resch Arena to defeat the Green Bay Gamblers, 5-2. Five different players for Team USA recorded two points each for the win.
U18s goaltender Drew DeRidder (Fenton, Mich.) made 19 saves in the win to remain undefeated in USHL play, improving his record to 11-0-0-0. He also earned his 20th overall win of the season and is now 20-9-0-1 overall.
Team USA kicked off scoring 11:28 into the first period when Cole Caufield (Stevens Point, Wis.) beat the Gamblers’ goaltender, Jake Begley, off an assist from Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y.). Jake Wise (Reading, Mass.) recorded a secondary assist on the goal.
With 3:03 remaining in the frame, the U18s tacked on another goal courtesy of Jonathan Gruden (Rochester, Mich.). After a pass from Caufield, Bode Wilde (Birmingham, Mich.), sent the puck to Gruden to make it 2-0.
Halfway into the second period, Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) cleaned up a shot from Farabee on the power play and stuffed it past Begley for the U18s’ third goal of the game. A secondary assist was credited to Cam York (Anaheim Hills, Calif.).
Three minutes later, Brock Caufield scored Green Bay’s first goal with a power play snipe.
With just 30 seconds remaining in the second period, Gruden scored his second goal of the game on a one-timer to give the U18s a 4-1 lead. Hughes and Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass.) picked up assists on the goal.
Wahlstrom scored a goal of his own at at 10:33 in the final frame to make it 5-1. Wisconsin native Ty Emberson (Eau Claire, Wis.) picked up an assist on the goal.
Caufield scored the Gamblers’ second goal with 1:37 left in the third for the final score of 5-2.
Caufield, Hughes, Gruden, Wahlstrom and Farabee all scored two points apiece for the win.
The U18s outshot the Gamblers, 23-21.
Begley finished the game with 18 saves for the Gamblers.
The U18s will finish the road series with Green Bay Saturday, March 3 at 8:05 ET at Resch Arena.