CHOMUTOV, Czech Republic - Austin Poganski (St. Cloud, Minn.) and Kyle Connor (Shelby Township, Mich.) scored two goals each as the U.S. Under-17 Select Team defeated Germany, 6-2, in the first preliminary-round game of the 2012 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.
"We wanted to come out strong and make sure we got pressure on their defense," said Barry Smith, head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team. "I was very happy with our performance tonight. It was a good first game and we'll look ahead to the next one."
Team USA opened the scoring just 2:15 into the game. Cullen Munson (Edina, Minn.) caught the German defense off-guard when he collected a pass from Shane Gersich (Chaska, Minn.) and slammed a shot beneath the German goalie's pads. Less than a minute later, Taylor Vickerman (Kennewick, Wa.) skated down the right side of the ice and blasted a shot past the glove of the German netminder to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead.
In the second period, Germany cut the U.S. lead in half just 1:15 into the period, but Poganski responded for the U.S., scoring a pair of goals in less than a minute. The first came off an odd-man rush, as he was able to bury a rebound in front of the net. He scored his second goal when he received a pass from the corner fromRyan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) and zipped it along the ice under the stick of the German goaltender.
Despite a late second period goal by Germany, Connor netted two goals late in the third to secure the win.
U.S. goaltender Chris Birdsall (Glen Rock, N.J.) was flawless in two of the three periods, posting 15 saves en route to the victory.
Notes: Austin Poganski was named U.S. Player of the Game ... For the complete U.S. Under-17 Select Team roster, click here ... Follow @USAHockey and @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news from the tournament ... The 2012 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament includes teams from the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United States ... Barry Smith (Whitefish, Mont.) serves as head coach, while Pat Mikesch (Hancock, Mich.) fills the role of assistant coach for the 2012 U.S. Under-17 Select team ... The 20 players on the U.S. roster represent 12 different states. Minnesota leads the way with five players, while Michigan and Illinois each have three.
Scoring By Period
First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Munson (Gersich), 2:15; 2, USA, Vickerman (Gersich, Nardella), 2:48. Penalties: None.
Second Period - Scoring: 3, GER, Manuel (Rogl), 1:20 (pp); 4, USA, Poganski (Donato, Booth), 8:50; 5, USA, Poganski, (Gersich), 9:45; 6, GER, Raiter (Eder, Quass), 10:12; Penalties: USA, Dudek (tripping), 1:22; GER, Stern (tripping), 2:27; USA, Ford (kneeing), 10:46; USA, Walker (delaying the game), 11:52; GER, Bockmann (holding), 17:04.
Third Period - Scoring: 7, USA, Connor (Pavelek, Dougherty), 10:37; 8, USA, Connor (Fortunato, Siebenaler), 14:07. Penalties: GER, Stettmer (tripping), 0:18; GER, Stern (hitting from behind), 3:28; USA, Siebenaler (interference), 5:40; GER, Rogl (tripping), 8:36; USA, Walker (roughing), 11:45; GER, Stocker (slashing), 14:58.
Shots By Period
|USA, Birdsall 60:00|
|GER, Konstantin 49:45|
|GER, Proska 10:15|
Power Play: USA, 0-7; GER, 1-5
Penalties: USA, 5-10; GER, 7-24
Team USA 2012 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament Schedule
August 7-11 - Czech Republic
|Sun., Aug. 5||Czech Republic*||5:00 p.m. / 11:00 a.m.||W, 6-2|
Wed., Aug. 8
|Germany||6:00 p.m. / 12:00 p.m.||W, 6-2|
|Thurs., Aug. 9||Switzerland||6:00 p.m. / 12:00 p.m.||Chomutov|
|Fri., Aug. 10||Czech Republic||6:00 p.m. / 12:00 p.m.||Chomutov|
|Sat., Aug. 11||Slovakia||12:00 p.m. / 6:00 a.m.||Chomutov|