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Thanksgiving Weekend is No Break for NTDP Teams

11/20/2012, 9:45am EST
By Becky Olsen

Both National Team Development Program teams will see action over the Thanksgiving break. The U.S. National Under-18 Team plays a single home game on Sunday (Nov. 25) while the U.S. National Under-17 Team heads out on the road for a pair of United States Hockey League contests (Nov. 23-24).

U18 TEAM FACES COLLEGE COMPETITION: The U18s will host St. Mary’s University for the first time in program history on Sunday. Face off is set for 3:30 p.m. EST at the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Ice Cube. St. Mary’s carries a 4-2 mark into this week.

“This is will be a good test for our squad,” U18 coach Don Granato said. “This is a good chance for us to work on different areas of our game, including special teams. We will be prepared to face St. Mary’s on Sunday.”

The U18s picked up four points in United States Hockey League play last week, posting back-to-back wins over Chicago (7-3 on Saturday) and Cedar Rapids (4-3 on Sunday).

Anthony Louis (Winfield, Ill.) registered a pair of goals in the win over Chicago. Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich.), Keaton Thompson (Devils Lake, N.D.), Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.) and John Hayden (Greenwich, Conn.) added single tallies. Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif.) stopped 19 shots in the win.

Meanwhile, Louis added two more goals, and Connor Clifton (Matawan, N.J.) and Motte registered single tallies against Cedar Rapids. Hunter Miska (North Branch, Minn.) kicked out 16 shots for the win as Team USA outshot the Roughriders 48-19.

“I was really proud of our team’s effort this weekend,” Granato said. “Saturday’s game was very physical and, due to the weather, we didn’t get back until almost 5 a.m. and had to turn right around and play that afternoon. Against Cedar Rapids, we jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and after they cut the lead to one goal, I thought we did a good job of battling back and fought through to the end.”

U17 TEAM RETURNS TO USHL PLAY: The U17s travel to Youngstown for USHL games Friday and Saturday.

“We are ready to get back to work,” U17 coach Danton Cole said. “The players got to go home this weekend for the first time and should come back ready to play. We look to build on our success from the Four Nations Tournament.”

The U17s have been off since claiming the 2012 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament title earlier this month, finishing with a perfect 3-0 mark. The squad beat Slovakia, Russia and Switzerland.

• With the four-point weekend in USHL play, Team USA is a combined 5-8-1 in conference play.

• The U18s are 2-4-2 (W-L-T) against NCAA competition this season. They are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games, including a 6-0-1 mark in USHL and college contests.

• Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass./10-8) paces the U-18s in scoring with 18 points while Anthony Louis (9-7) is second with 16 points. Evan Allen (Sterling Heights, Mich./8-5), Tyler Motte (8-5) and Will Butcher (3-10) are tied for third with 13 points while Sean Malone (West Seneca, N.Y./6-6) is sixth with 12 points.

• In goal for the U18s, Thatcher Demko has a 8-2-2 record along with a 3.51 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. In addition, Demko ranks seventh in the USHL with a 2.56 GAA. Hunter Miska is 4-4-1 with a 3.48 GAA and an .849 save percentage.

• The U17s carry a 6-9-1 (W-L-OTL) mark into this weekend. The squad is averaging 3.81 goals per game while allowing 4.31 goals.

• Heading into this weekend, Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass./6-10) leads the U17s in scoring with 16 points. Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y./8-7) is second with 15 points while Joe Wegwerth (Brewster, N.Y./7-5) is third with 12 points. A four-way tie exists for fourth place as Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y./6-5), Chris Wilkie (Omaha, Neb./5-6), Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn./2-9) and Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y./0-11) each have 11 points.

• In goal, Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) has seen the majority of the action for the U17s, posting a 4-6-1 record, a 4.44 GAA and an .861 save percentage.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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