Anthony Louis celebrates one of his two third period goals against Sweden. Photo by Jonathan Knight.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Anthony Louis (Winfield, Ill.) scored two goals and added one assist, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team clipped Sweden, 5-3, at the 2012 Under-18 Four Nations Tournament tonight at the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Ice Cube. Team USA finishes pool play with a 2-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, earning them the top seed in the title game tomorrow (Nov. 10).
"The team showed a lot of character tonight in bouncing back from a tough setback last game," said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. "We'll get some rest and come back ready to go to work in the morning. We will have to play smart and disciplined to earn the tournament title tomorrow."
Team USA struck first at 12:23 of the opening frame. Sean Malone (West Seneca, N.Y.) banged a rebound into the net for the score. John Hayden (Greenwich, Conn.) and Louis collected assists on the tally. Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif.) turned aside all 10 shots he faced in the period and the U.S. enjoyed a 1-0 advantage heading into the intermission.
After killing off a penalty to begin the second stanza, Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) tallied Team USA's second marker. Steven Santini (Mahopac, N.Y.) had the intial shot on net that found its way through traffic after bouncing off of two helmets. Hudson Fasching (Burnsville, Minn.) extended the U.S. lead to three at 6:58 when he roofed a shot over a diving Ebbe Sionas. Kelleher and Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.) assisted on the play. Sweden knocked in a rebound that caromed off the glass at 9:51 to climb to within two goals, 3-1, after two periods of play.
Hudson Fasching puts the U.S. up, 3-0, against Sweden. Photo by Jonathan Knight.
Sweden scored on a wrist shot on the power play at 1:26 of the final frame to close the gap with the U.S. to one score, 3-2. The U.S. answered on a wraparound goal by Louis at 12:52. The back and forth third period continued as the Swedes notched a goal at 17:23 to set up a frenzied finish to the match. After pulling its netminder for the extra attacker, Louis struck again, tallying the empty net goal and sealing the victory for Team USA, 5-3.
Demko made 32 saves in the win for the U.S., while Sionas turned aside 38 shots in the loss for Sweden.
Team USA next faces Sweden in a rematch tomorrow (Nov. 10) at 7 p.m. EST at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The winner of that contest claims the Under-18 Four Nations Tournament title. Finland will take on Switzerland in the early contest, for third place, with a 3:30 p.m. scheduled puck drop.
NOTES: Hudson Fasching was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Robert Hagg was named Sweden's Player of the Game ... Team USA outshot Sweden, 43-35 ... The U.S. finished 3-for-9 on the power play, while Sweden went 1-for-6 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 and usantdp.com ... The Ann Arbor Ice Cube most recently hosted international hockey at the 2011 Under-17 Select Five Nations Tournament, from Aug. 9-13, 2011.
U.S. National Under-18 Team
Hudson Fasching, forward (1 goal)
Robert Hagg, forward (2 goals)