Anders Bjork, Dylan Larkin and Sonny Milano celebrate one of Team USA's goals versus Sioux City. Photo by Tom Sorensen.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) made 41 saves and Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.) scored one goal, registered one assist and added the shootout winner, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team defeated the Sioux City Musketeers, 4-3, on Jan. 19, at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
Sioux City grabbed the lead at 4:06 of the first frame, converting on a power-play opportunity. Team USA put 11 shots on net in the period, but Musketeer goaltender Kyle Hayton turned aside each attempt.
Nolan Stevens scored his first goal of the season after missing time due to injury. Photo by Tom Sorensen.
The U.S. knotted the game 57 seconds into the second stanza. Ryan MacInnis (St. Louis, Mo.) drove to the net, creating the initial chance and Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) banged away at the rebound in the crease. Nolan Stevens (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) scooped up the puck and roofed it over Hayton for the score. Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.) doubled the Team USA lead at 2:03, with Louis Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.) and Bjork earning the assists. The goal-scoring outburst continued as Bjork lit the lamp at the 6:00 minute mark. Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) and Milano collected assists on the play. The Musketeers answered at 13:12, taking advantage of a turnover in the slot. The U17s entered second intermission leading, 3-2.
A late third period goal by Sioux City tied the game, 3-3. The two squads remained deadlocked after 60 minutes of play and headed into a five-minute overtime. The Musketeers put four shots on goal, while the U.S. had one shot in the extra frame, but neither squad found the back of the net.
After Minney denied the first Sioux City shooter, Milano skated down the right side of the ice and came in with a backhand that beat Hayton. The Musketeers scored in the second round and Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) was stopped to keep it even. Minney turned aside Sioux City's third shooter setting up a potential game-winning scenario for Bjork. Bjork fired a wrist shot that found the top of the net and the U17s rushed onto the ice to celebrate its 4-3 victory.
Team USA concludes its weekend of games tomorrow (Jan. 20) afternoon when the U.S. National Under-18 Team faces the Chicago Steel.
Anders Bjork, forward (1 goal, 1 assist)
Edwin Minney, goalie (41 saves)
Sonny Milano, forward (1 goal, 1 assist)