Ryan Hitchcock charges up ice against Slovakia at the Under-17 Four Nations Tournament in Monthey, Switzerland.
MONTHEY, Switzerland - Jared Fiegl (Parker, Colo.), Sonny Milano (Massapequa, Mass.) and Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) recorded one goal and one assist each, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team downed Slovakia, 7-2, in its opening game at the 2012 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament at Patinoire de Monthey.
"Today's win was a great collective effort by our team," said Danton Cole, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "We capitalized at key moments throughout the game and controlled the tempo on both sides of the puck."
Team USA struck first on the power play at 8:30 of the opening period when Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.) deposited the puck into the net. Ryan MacInnis (St. Louis, Mo.) assisted on the goal. Joe Wegwerth (Brewster, N.Y.) doubled the U.S. lead at 13:05 with Team USA's second power play marker. Fiegl and Nathan Billitier (Spencerport, N.Y.) collected assists on the play. Chris Wilkie (Omaha, Neb.) notched a goal to extend the U.S. advantage to three. Milano and Louis Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.) registered assists. Late in the first frame, Fiegl notched a goal to send Team USA into the first intermission up 4-0. Tuch and Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn.) earned the helpers on the tally.
Dylan Larkin looks to jam a rebound past Slovak netminder Stanislav Skorvanek.
Slovakia scored at 1:44 of the second stanza to narrow the lead of the U.S., 4-1. Team USA went back up by four goals after Tuch's tally at 14:01. Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) assisted on the play. Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) turned aside 14 of 15 shots in the frame.
The Slovaks found the back of the net early in the third stanza to climb back within three goals of the U.S., 5-2. Twenty-four seconds later, Milano took passes from Dylan Pavelek (Marysville, Mich.) and Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y.) and scored to put Team USA up, 6-2. Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) added a goal at 6:32 and the U.S. skated to a 7-2 victory. Pavelek earned his second assist of the game on the tally.
Minney made 25 saves for the U.S. in the win, while Stanislav Skorvanek stopped 47 shots for Slovakia in the loss.
Team USA will continue tournament play tomorrow (Nov. 10) against Russia. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. EST at Patinoire de Monthey.
NOTES: Alex Tuch was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Stanislav Skorvanek was named Slovakia's Player of the Game ... Team USA outshot Slovakia, 54-27 ... The U.S. finished 2-for-3 on the power play, while Slovakia went 0-for-2 with the man advantage ... For a complete U.S. National Under-17 Team tournament roster, click here ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team captured first place at the 2011 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament held in Balishikha, Russia. 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 #U17FourNations ... For additional coverage, visit USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Facebook page.
Stanislav Skorvanek, Goalie (47 saves)
U.S. National Under-17 Team
Alex Tuch, Forward (1 goal, 1 assist)