Thatcher Demko looks around a screen against Finland. Photo by Jonathan Knight.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Anthony Louis (Winfield, Ill.) and Sean Malone (West Seneca, N.Y.) scored one goal and added one assist each, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team toppled Finland, 3-1, in Team USA's first game at the 2012 Under-18 Four Nations Tournament tonight at the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Ice Cube.
"It was important for us to start this tournament off on the right foot, especially as the host country", said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. "We'll build off tonight's win and start preparation for Switzerland immediately, as we expect a very competitive game tomorrow."
Michael McCarron screens the Finnish netminder. Photo by Jonathan Knight.
Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) opened scoring for Team USA at 7:43 of the first frame. Kelleher buried the rebound off a shot by Connor Clifton (Matawan, N.J.) to put the U.S. ahead, 1-0. Michael McCarron (Macomb, Mich.) also assisted on the play. Team USA outshot Finland, 22-6 in the period.
Finland knotted the game, 1-1, when a one-timer at 3:40 of the second stanza beat U.S. goaltender Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif.). Team USA regained the advantage at 17:02 when Malone sent a shot from the slot past Finnish netminder Juuse Saros. Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.) and Louis collected assists on the marker. The U.S. took a 2-1 lead into the final frame.
Louis netted an insurance goal, his second point on the night, at the 8:43 mark of the third period. Hudson Fasching (Burnsville, Minn.) and Malone registered assists. Team USA held Finland to just six shots in the frame and Demko turned aside each attempt to earn the victory. Demko made 19 saves total in the win for the U.S., while Saros stopped 43 shots in the loss for Finland.
Team USA next faces Switzerland tomorrow (Nov. 7) at 7 p.m. EST at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. Finland will take on Sweden in the early contest, with a 3:30 p.m. EST scheduled puck drop.
NOTES: Sean Malone was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Juuse Saros was named Finland's Player of the Game ... Team USA outshot Finland, 46-20 ... The U.S. finished 0-for-3 on the power play, while Finland went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.