Dzhaniyev and Hanas score for Team USA
PIESTANY, Slovakia — Despite outshooting the Czech Republic by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, the United States Under-17 Men’s Select Team suffered a 3-2 setback Wednesday in its opening game at the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.
Trailing 2-0 early in the second period, Team USA answered with a goal from Daniyal Dzhaniyev (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to cut the Czech Republic lead in half at 8:23 of the stanza. A Czech turnover at the U.S. blue line started the play, then Dzhaniyev and Mackie Samoskevich (Sandy Hook, Conn.) streaked into the offensive zone and executed a give-and-go to beat goaltender Jan Bednar.
An elbowing penalty 1:40 after the goal sent Team USA to the power play, and Cross Hanas (Highland Village, Texas) stuffed home a rebound off a shot from Nathan Schweitzer (Champlin, Minn.) to even the score at 2-2. U.S. captain Blake Biondi (Hermantown, Minn.) picked up the secondary assist on Hanas' goal.
Unfortunately for the U.S., a strange bounce off the end boards snuck its way behind goaltender Gavin Fitzpatrick (Norwood, Mass.) to give the Czech Republic a 3-2 lead later in the third period. Team USA pressed hard for the equalizer and generated numerous scoring chances, but despite piling up a 43-22 advantage in shots on goal, time expired before the U.S. could find a way to tie the game.
The team will return to action Friday when it takes on Switzerland at 2 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET).
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