in Final Preliminary Game of 2012 IIHF Men's World Under-18 Championship , Lane Nets Goal and Adds Assist in Victory
BRNO, Czech Republic - Matthew Lane (Rochester, N.Y.) netted one goal and added one assist, as the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team bested Canada, 5-3, here tonight at Kajot Arena in its final preliminary-round game at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Under-18 Championship.
With the vicory, Team USA won its group with an undefeated 4-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and earned a bye to the semifinal round.
"I'm really proud of how the guys responded tonight," said Danton Cole, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team. "We were down against a talented team and worked hard to come back."
The U.S. and Canada skated to a scoreless opening frame, despite Team USA outshooting its opponent, 15-9. Lane was granted a penalty shot after being obstructed en route to the net at 17:30, but Canadian goaltender Matt Murray blocked the attempt.
Canada struck first on the power play at 2:45 of the second stanza. Team USA followed suit with a power-play goal when Matt Grzelcyk (Charlestown, Mass.) launched a slapshot from just inside the blue line into the back of the net. Connor Carrick (Orland Park, Ill.) and Quentin Shore (Denver, Colo.) collected assists on the score.
The two teams again exchanged power-play tallies to round out the second period. Canada reclaimed the lead at 10:00, but Riley Barber (Livonia, Mich.) recorded a power-play marker of his own when he jammed the puck past Murray at 18:50. Shore earned his second assist of the game on the game-tying tally.
Seth Jones (Plano, Texas) gave the U.S. its first lead of the night at 5:10 of the final frame. Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill.) registered the lone assist on the tally. Frankie Vatrano (East Longmeadow, Mass.) doubled the Team USA lead at 6:39, with Lane earning the assist. Canada cut the U.S. lead to one, 4-3, at 15:06 and pulled its goaltender in favor of the extra attacker with 1:24 remaining.
Shortly after, Lane potted an empty-net goal to ice the victory for Team USA. Collin Olson (Apple Valley, Minn.) made 26 saves in the victory for the U.S., while Murray turned aside 35 shots for Canada in the loss.
The U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team has a bye to the semifinal round on Friday (April 20), when it will face the winner of the quarterfinal match-up between Russia and Canada (April 19) at Alcaplast Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic. The game will be streamed live on FASTHockey.com.
NOTES: For the complete U.S. roster, click here ... Seth Jones (Plano, Texas) was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Team USA outshot Canada, 40-29 ... Both the U.S. and Canada went 2-for-6 on the power play ... The U.S. enters the tournament having captured a record eight consecutive medals, including back-to-back gold medals in 2005-06, three straight gold medals from 2009-11, two silver medals (2004, 2007) and one bronze medal (2008). Team USA's six gold medals are the most of any country in IIHF Men's World Under-18 Championship history (event began in 1999). Team USA earned its first gold medal in 2002 ... The U.S. is in Group A with Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Finland. Group B consists of Germany, Latvia, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland ... Follow @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament. Scores will be designated with #U18MWC ... For additional coverage, visit USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Facebook page ... More information about the 2011 IIHF World Men's U18 Championship can be found here ... The U.S. Mens National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams train with The Hockey IntelliGym, a revolutionary software program that trains hockey sense. To learn more, visit USAHockeyIntelliGym.com.