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 fromAustin 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 fromTaylor 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 ... 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.) is serving as head coach, while Pat Mikesch (Hancock, Mich.) is the squad's assistant coach ... 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, 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 (5x3 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.
Shots By Period
|USA, Birdsall 60:00|
|CZE, Pirs 60:00|
Power Play: USA, 1-4; CZE, 1-5
Penalties: USA, 5-10; CZE, 4-8
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.||Chomutov/W, 6-2|
Wed., Aug. 8
|Germany||6:00 p.m. / 12:00 p.m.||Chomutov/W, 6-2|
|Thurs., Aug. 9||Switzerland||6:00 p.m. / 12:00 p.m.||Chomutov/W, 5-0|
|Fri., Aug. 10||Czech Republic||6:00 p.m. / 12:00 p.m.||Chomutov/W, 5-2|
|Sat., Aug. 11||Slovakia||12:00 p.m. / 6:00 a.m.||Chomutov|