Photo by Brett Blum
“I really like that we came out on the attack, started aggressive and didn’t play with any fear or hesitation in our game,” said U.S. National Under-17 Team head coach Seth Appert. "The level of competition, urgency and intensity raises dramatically from a preliminary round game, and we are going to have to raise ours to be able to win this tournament tomorrow.”
In the afternoon matchup, Switzerland beat Slovakia, 3-1, to earn its first win of the tournament.
Team USA and Russia will square off in the championship game Saturday (Dec. 15) at 7 p.m. ET at USA Hockey Arena.
USA 4, RUSSIA 2
Dylan Peterson (Roseville, Calif.) captured a 1-0 lead for USA on a wraparound goal with 3:42 remaining in the period. Brett Berard (E. Greenwich, R.I.) and Jake Sanderson (Whitefish, Mont.) recorded assists.
Despite two power play opportunities for Russia and three for USA, neither team could capitalize on odd-man opportunities during the first frame, leaving Team USA with a one-goal lead entering intermission.
Team USA opened the second period with a goal at 1:01 as Sanderson scored his first goal of season and USA’s second goal of the game with a shot from the point, sending the puck top corner. Peterson tallied his second point of the game with an assist.
Russia cut Team USA’s lead in half at 1:28 of the third period with a goal from Shakir Mukhamadullin, assisted by Daniil Kuzmin and Iliya Rychkov.
Ty Smilanic (Elizabeth, Colo.) recovered USA’s two-goal lead with a power-play goal at 9:10 of the third period. Sanderson tallied his third point of the game with an assist.
SWITZERLAND 3, SLOVAKIA 1
Noah Patenaude delivered a 31-save effort as Switzerland topped Slovakia by a 3-1 final to earn its first victory of the 2018 Under-17 Four Nations Cup on Friday afternoon at USA Hockey Arena.
Patenaude's strong performance in his Four Nations Cup debut, which included a highlight reel save on a rebound early in the third period, earned him Player of the Game honors.
After a scoreless opening frame, Switzerland opened scoring when Keanu Derungs snapped one home from the slot at the 4 minute, 37 second mark of the second period.
Switzerland doubled its lead less than two minutes later when Lucas Wenger corralled the puck in tight and finished with a backhand.
Slovakia had a pair of power-play opportunities in the second to attempt to cut into the deficit but could not convert. The Slovaks have been outscored by a 16-4 margin across their first three games of the tournament.
Switzerland cut the deficit in half when Maxim Mastič and Roman Faith worked a give-and-go to perfection in the third period. Mastič's two goals in the Four Nations Cup rank tied for the team lead.
However, Switzerland's Josselin Dufey restored the two-goal advantage with four minutes to play to help seal the victory.
Jakub Sihelský stopped 26 shots for Slovakia in the loss.
Switzerland and Slovakia will meet again Saturday afternoon in the third-place game at the Under-17 Four Nations Cup. Puck drop is set for 3:30 p.m. ET at USA Hockey Arena.
NOTES: Team Switzerland went 0-for-3 on the power play. Team Slovakia went 0-for-4 on the power play. Slovakia outshot Switzerland by a 32-29 margin. Noah Patenaude earned Player of the Game honors for Switzerland. Maxim Mastič earned Player of the Game honors for Slovakia. The 2018 Under-17 Four Nations Cup is presented by Hines Park Lincoln Chevrolet.
Team rosters, broadcast details and other information can be found on the tournament website, found here ... All tournament action will be covered by the USA Hockey's NTDP and USA Hockey Arena's social media accounts (@USAHockeyNTDP and @USAHockeyArena) ... Get involved with the conversation by using the tournament hashtag #4NationsU17.
|Tue, Dec. 11||Russia||Switzerland||RUS 9, SUI 1||Buy Tickets||Watch Live||Live Stats|
|Tue, Dec. 11||USA||Slovakia||USA 7, SVK 2||Buy Tickets||Watch Live||Live Stats|
|Wed, Dec. 12||Slovakia||Russia||RUS 6, SVK 1||Buy Tickets||Watch Live||Live Stats|
|Wed, Dec. 12||USA||Switzerland||USA 3, SUI 1||Buy Tickets||Watch Live||Live Stats|
|Fri, Dec. 14||Switzerland||Slovakia||SUI 3, SVK 1||Buy Tickets||Watch Live||Live Stats|
|Fri, Dec. 14||USA||Russia||USA 4, RUS 2||Buy Tickets||Watch Live||Live Stats|
|Sat., Dec. 15||Switzerland||Slovakia (3rd Place Game)||SVK 4, SUI 2||Buy Tickets||Watch Live||Live Stats|
|Sat., Dec. 15||USA||Russia (1st Place Game)||RUS 3, USA 2 (OT)||Buy Tickets||Watch Live||Live Stats|