U17 Select Team Tops Czech Republic, Clinches First Place in Five Nations Tournament
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Press Release from USA Hockey
U.S. Under-17 Select Team Defeats Czech Republic, 5-2, Clinches First Place in 2012 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament
Ten Players Register Points in Win
CHOMUTOV, Czech Republic – The U.S. Under-17 Select Team clinched first place in the 2012 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament with a 5-2 win over the Czech Republic. Ten different players recorded a point to keep Team USA undefeated in tournament play at 3-0-0.
“We’re happy and it feels good, but we still have one more game to play,” said Barry Smith, head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team. “We’ll prepare the same way and come to play tomorrow against Slovakia.”
Trailing by a goal after one period of play, the U.S. began to click offensively in the second. Taking advantage of a five-on-three power play, Kyle Connor (Shelby Township, Mich.) banged home a cross-crease pass from Austin Poganski (St. Cloud, Minn.). Joey Dudek (Auburn, N.H.) then scored twice as he cleaned up rebounds from Seamus Malone (Naperville, Ill.) and Alex Jasiek (St. Louis, Mo.) to stake the U.S. to a 3-1 advantage. Blake Siebenaler (Fort Wayne, Ind.) capped the second period scoring by burying a pass from Taylor Vickerman (Kennewick, Wash.) on an odd-man rush.
The Czech Republic came out quickly in the third, scoring less than a minute into the period to cut the U.S. lead to 4-2. Much of the play was back-and-forth from that point until the U.S. reclaimed its three-goal advantage when Vickerman skated from the corner and slammed the puck under the goaltender’s pads.
U.S. netminder Chris Birdsall (Anchorage, Alaska) continued his dominant play, recording 19 saves en route to his third win of the tournament.
Team USA will complete competition in the Five Nations Tournament tomorrow against Slovakia. Opening faceoff is set for 6 a.m. (EDT).
Notes: Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y.) was named U.S. Player of the Game
First Period – Scoring: 1, CZE, Zacha (Havlin), 1:44 (pp). Penalties: USA, Birdsall (tripping), 0:24; USA, Pavelek (slashing), 8:28; USA, Pavelek (hooking), 16:45; USA, Ford (delaying the game), 18:21; CZE, Stribrny (hooking), 19:37.
Second Period – Scoring: 2, USA, Connor (Poganski), 1:29 (5×3 pp); 3, USA, Dudek (Malone, Dougherty), 5:27; 4, USA, Dudek (Jasiek, Dougherty), 13:52; 5, USA, Siebenaler (Vickerman, Ghafari), 15:07. Penalties: CZE, Horak (interference), 0:21; CZE, Andres (tripping), 18:34.
Third Period – Scoring: 6, CZE, Pilar (Strunz), 1:00; 7, USA, Vickerman (Walker), 6:30. Penalties: USA, Malone (cross checking), 7:37; CZE, Havlin (boarding), 17:30.