Jared Fiegl swats at the puck in front of the Indiana Ice net. Photo by Tom Sorensen.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.) and Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) had one goal and added one assist each, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team was bested by the Indiana Ice, 6-3, on Jan. 17 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The game was the first of four contests this weekend for Team USA within the United States Hockey League.
Indiana found the back of the net just 45 seconds into the game, scoring on a quick snapshot from the slot. The U.S. put eight shots on Ice goaltender Dalton Izyk, but failed to convert on any of its opportunities.
Team USA found itself down, 2-0, after the Ice tallied a rebound goal at 1:31 of the middle frame. Two straight penalties put Team USA on its heels until Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) tallied a shorthanded marker off a takeaway in the offensive zone. With the goal, the U.S. cut Indiana's lead in half heading into second intermission.
Anders Bjork puts the puck into the net in the third period. Photo by Tom Sorensen.
Larkin notched the equalizer at 1:25 of the third period. Bjork set Larkin up from behind the net and earned the lone assist. Indiana reclaimed the lead at 3:39, but Team USA answered when Bjork scored at 6:06 to once again knot the game. Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.) and Larkin collected assists. Back-to-back strikes by the Ice and a late power-play tally proved too much for the U.S. to overcome, eventually falling to the Ice, 6-3.
Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) turned aside 35 shots in the loss for the U17s, while Izyk made 22 stops in the win for Indiana.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team gets a shot at Indiana tomorrow (Jan. 18) at 7 p.m. EST. The U17s return to action on Saturday (Jan. 19) versus Sioux City at 7 p.m., and the U18s close out the homestand with a 3:30 p.m. tilt against Chicago on Sunday (Jan. 20).
M. Plotnikov, forward (1 goal, 2 assists)
Anders Bjork, forward (1 goal, 1 assist)
Dylan Larkin, forward (1 goal, 1 assist)