BRECLAV, Czech Republic - The U.S. Under-18 Select Team showed its offensive depth with six unique point-getters, but fell to the Czech Republic, 5-2, in its second preliminary-round game of the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
"We controlled the play for most of the game and played very well offensively," said Matt Herr, head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Select Team. "We can still move on to the next round. We just need to correct some mistakes and come out prepared."
Team USA was able to jump out to the first lead at 12:28 of the first period. Adam Erne (New Haven, Conn.) received a pass from Karson Kuhlman (Cloquet, Minn.) and skated the length of the ice to score for the goal. Backed by nine saves from Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif.), the U.S. held the Czech Republic scoreless in the first.
Drew Melanson (Paramus, N.J.) nearly made it two-goal lead when he was awarded a penalty shot early in the second period, but missed just wide of the net. The Czech Republic then took advantage when it scored two goals less than a minute apart. The Czech power play notched a goal at 6:29 and followed up with a breakaway goal just 54 seconds later.
The third period saw a combined four goals. After a pair of early Czech goals, Gabe Guertler (Plantation, Fla.) struck back for the U.S. off a pass from Jimmy Lodge (Downington, Pa.), but Team USA was unable to mount a complete comeback. The Czech Republic netted two late goals in the final stanza to secure the victory.
The U.S. will take the ice again on Wednesday (Aug. 15) when it squares off against Finland at 9:30 a.m. EDT.
For complete Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament coverage, click here.
NOTES: Drew Melanson was named U.S. Player of the Game ... For the complete U.S. Under-18 Select Team roster, click here ... Follow @USAHockey and @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for up-to-the-minute information on the tournament ... The 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament features teams from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States ... Team USA has finished in the top three of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament 10 times since the tournament's inception in 1991, including a first place finish in 2003. The U.S. has finished second seven times (1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2010) and third twice (1991, 1995) ... Team USA finished fifth last year and second in 2010 ... The 22 players on the roster represent 10 different states. Minnesota has five representatives, while New Jersey has four and California and New York each have three ... Matt Herr (Alpine, N.J.), head coach of the Kent School (Conn.), serves as head coach and Bob Corkum (Salisbury, Mass), associate head coach at the University of Maine, and Nick Fohr(Grand Forks, N.D.), assistant coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, serve as assistant coaches.
Scoring By Period
First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Erne (Kuhlman, Melanson), 12:28. Penalties: None.
Second Period - Scoring: 2, CZE, Kokes (Pokorny), 6:29 (pp); 3, CZE, Indrak (Slansky), 7:23. Penalties: CZE, Andrlik (slashing), 0:24; USA, DeAngelo (roughing), 3:54; CZE, Pokorny (hooking), 5:03; USA, Gicewicz (holding), 5:44; USA, Lodge (cross-checking), 9:50; CZE, Kokes (delaying the game), 9:50; USA, Lettieri (delaying the game), 12:27.
Third Period - Scoring: 4, CZE, Kase (Rob), 0:57; 5, CZE, Kase (Stencl), 12:45 (pp); USA, Guertler (Lodge, Lettieri), 12:54; CZE, Pokorny (Slanksy), 16:35. Penalties: USA, DeAngelo (slashing), 11:19; USA, Lettieri (roughing), 17:46; USA, Lodge (checking from behind), 19:24.
Shots By Period
|USA, Demko 60:00||9-9|
|CZE, Sconoda 60:00|
Powerplay: USA, 0-3; CZE, 2-7
Penalties: USA, 7-24; CZE, 3-4