Photo by Rena Laverty
PLYMOUTH, Mich. — Cole Caufield (Stevens Point, Wis.) registered five points and 14 players found the scoresheet in the U.S. National Under-18 Team’s 11-4 victory over Central Illinois on Friday night at USA Hockey Arena.
Team USA improved its USHL record to 14-12-2-3 and the U18s' overall record is now 26-8-2-0-0.
John Beecher (Elmira, N.Y.) opened scoring early when he found the back of the net after a backhand pass from Michael Gildon (Plano, Texas) 36 seconds into play.
NTDP alum Trevor Janicke (2016-18) scored one of two quick goals for Central Ilinois, who took a 2-1 lead with 13:16 left to play in the first period.
At 5:11, Caufield played the puck across the blue line to Matthew Boldy (Millis, Mass.) who produced a shot that led to a rebound goal for Alex Turcotte (Island Lake, Ill.). A late goal courtesy of Gildon gave the U18s a 3-2 lead before the break.
Turcotte and Caufield connected on a 2-on-0 breakaway 1:08 into the second frame when Turcotte hit the back of the net for his second goal of the game. Danny Weight (Lattingtown, N.Y.) scored his fourth goal of the season at 5:44 with an assist from Drew Helleson (Farmington, Minn.)
At the halfway point of the second stanza, Central Illinois tallied two goals to shorten Team USA’s three-goal lead to one.
With five minutes left in the middle period, the U18s put two more goals on the board. Ryder Rolston (Birmingham, Mich.) tallied a goal with an assist from Trevor Zegras (Bedford, N.Y.), ande Gildon added another on the power play.
The U18s put the game out of reach with three goals within the last five minutes of the game. Rolston got his second goal of the night at 4:57 with an assist from Sean Farrell (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Zegras.
Caufield notched two goals within 10 seconds to put the U18s in double-digits.
Weight added his second of the night to make it 11-4 with an assist to Judd Caulfield (Grand Forks, ND)
The U18s return to the ice Saturday, Jan. 26 at L.C. Walker Arena to take on the Muskegon Lumberjacks at 7 p.m. ET. The U17s host Central Illinois Flying Aces Saturday, Jan. 26 for Star Wars Night at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets are available at USAHockeyNTDP.com/Tix.
NOTES: Team USA outshot Central Illinois by a 51-24 margin … The U18s went 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill ... Michael Gildon earned the No. 1 Star of the Game ... Ryder Rolston earned the No. 2 Star of the Game ... John Beecher earned the No. 3 Star of the Game … Danny Weight earned Hardest Worker of the Game.