Photo by Rena Laverty
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Despite a trio of power-play goals, the U.S. National Under-17 Team fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Green Bay Gamblers on Saturday night at Resch Center.
Jake Sanderson (Whitefish, Mont.), Thomas Bordeleau (Houston, Texas) and Brett Berard (E. Greenwich, R.I.) all found the back of the net on the man-advantage as the U17s collected at least one point for the third time in their past four games.
A stellar individual effort from Sanderson opened scoring for the U17s just 3 minutes, 21 seconds into the game. The defenseman corralled the puck near center ice and glided through the offensive zone before he tucked a backhand into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
Team USA maintained its 1-0 advantage into the first intermission behind a strong start from goaltender Drew Commesso (Norwell, Mass.), who stopped all eight shots he faced in the opening frame.
Bordeleau doubled the lead for the U17s when he sent a seeing-eye shot from the top of the left circle through traffic early in the second period. The power-play tally marked Bordeleau's ninth of the season, which ranks second on the team behind Ty Smilanic (Elizabeth, Colo.).
After Green Bay pulled within one, Berard walked in and ripped a wrist shot past Gamblers goaltender Maxim Zhukov for Team USA's third power-play goal of the game.
However, the Gamblers responded with two quick goals in a span of 2:05 in the final frame to force overtime.
Team USA could not capitalize on the man-advantage in overtime and Zhukov stopped all three shootout attempts to seal the win for Green Bay.
The U17s return to action Monday afternoon when they face off against the Chicago Steel. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. ET at USA Hockey Arena. Tickets for all Team USA home games are available at USAHockeyNTDP.com/Tix.
NOTES: Green Bay outshot the U17s by a 32-29 margin ... Team USA went 3-for-9 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.