Connor Hurley does battle along the boards against Switzerland. Photo by Jonathan Knight.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Shane Eiserman (West Newbury, Mass./1-1) and Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass./0-2) each recorded two-point nights, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team earned a point in a 5-4 shootout loss to Switzerland, in its second game at the 2012 Under-18 Four Nations Tournament tonight at the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Ice Cube.
"We battled hard tonight but came up short in the end," said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. "This result will serve as a wake up call to our players, reminding them what it takes to win a hockey game against elite talent."
Switzerland opened scoring at 3:30 of the first period to take an early 1-0 lead. Evan Allen (Sterling Heights, Mich.) answered with a tally for Team USA at 7:33. Kelleher and Steven Santini (Mahopac, N.Y.) assisted on the goal. The Swiss regained the lead at 17:47 and took the 2-1 advantage into the first intermission.
Shane Eiserman celebrates his third period, shorthanded goal. Photo by Jonathan Knight.
Michael McCarron's (Macomb, Mich.) marker at 2:03 in the second stanza knotted the score at two goals. Kelleher and Clint Lewis (Burnsville, Minn.) earned assists on the play. The back and forth battle continued as Switzerland netted its third goal of the game, and first with the man advantage, at 4:29. The U.S. struck back once more as Sean Malone (West Seneca, N.Y.) found the back of the net and tied the game, 3-3, after two periods of action. Connor Clifton (Matawan, N.J.) and Eiserman registered assists.
Team USA took its first lead of the game at 9:02 of the third frame off a shorthanded goal by Eiserman. Switzerland notched the equalizer 24 seconds later on the power play to send the game into overtime.
Switzerland and the U.S. each put two shots on net in the extra frame, but couldn't find the game-winning marker and the game went into a shootout. Switzerland scored twice and only Kelleher could find the back of the net for the U.S. as the Swiss claimed the shootout, 2-1. Team USA fell, 5-4, but picked up a point in the tournament standings.
Hunter Miska (North Branch, Minn.) made 19 saves in the loss for the U.S., while Daniel Guntern turned aside 47 shots in the win for Switzerland.
Team USA next faces Sweden on Friday (Nov. 9) at 7 p.m. EST at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. Switzerland will take on Finland in the early contest, with a 3:30 p.m. scheduled puck drop.
NOTES: Shane Eiserman was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Jason Fuchs was named Switzerland's Player of the Game ... Team USA outshot Switzerland, 51-23 ... The U.S. finished 0-for-3 on the power play, while Switzerland went 2-for-7 with the man advantage ... For a complete U.S. National Under-18 Team tournament roster, click here ... The U.S. National Under-18 Team captured first place at the 2011 Under-18 Four Nations Tournament held in Monthey, Switzerland. The U.S. has claimed the tournament title in four consecutive years (2008-11) ... FASTHockey.com will provide a live webcast of each game in the tournament ... Follow @USAHockey and @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament and join the conversation by using #U18FourNations ... For additional coverage, visit USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Facebook page ... The Ann Arbor Ice Cube most recently hosted international hockey at the 2011 Under-17 Select Five Nations Tournament, from Aug. 9-13, 2011.