Trevor Hamilton looks to sweep away a rebound chance in front of Thatcher Demko. Photo by Dave Harwig / viewthroughmylens.net.
DULUTH, Minn. - Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif.) made 31 saves, but the U.S. National Under-18 Team dropped a hard-fought battle to the University of Minnesota Duluth, 3-1, on Jan. 26, at AMSOIL Arena. With the loss, Team USA's record against collegiate foes drops to 9-6-4 (W-L-T).
Tyler Kelleher looks for a rebound in front of the Bulldog net. Photo by Dave Harwig / viewthroughmylens.net.
The Bulldogs opened scoring at 6:24 of the first frame. Team USA outshot Minnesota Duluth, 15-8, in the period, but former National Team Development Program netminder Matt McNeely (Burnsville, Minn./2009-11) turned aside each attempt. The Under-18 Team entered first intermission down, 1-0.
Entering the second stanza with the man advantage, Michael McCarron (Macomb, Mich.) struck for Team USA at 1:29. Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Evan Allen (Sterling Heights, Mich.) collected assists on the tally. Minnesota Duluth restaked the lead, 2-1, at 3:55. After a flurry of roughing calls on both squads late in the frame, the Bulldogs found itself a man short, but the U.S. couldn't capitalize.
Team USA was whistled for three consecutive penalties in the third period and the Bulldogs took advantage at 10:47. The power-play marker put the U.S. down, 3-1, and in need of a goal to close the gap. Minnesota Duluth goaltender Aaron Crandall was only tested three times and turned aside each shot to preserve the victory.
The Under-18 Team next travels to the University of Wisconsin-Superior to take on the Yellowjackets tomorrow (Jan. 27) evening. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. EST at Wessman Arena.