YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) made 35 saves and Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) tallied two goals, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team trumped the Youngstown Phantoms, 6-2, here tonight at the Covelli Center.
Team USA struck first while skating with the man advantage. Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.) received the puck at the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Milano faked a shot to Colin DeAugustine's short side and sent the puck to Tuch on the opposite post and he slammed it home for the easy score.
Dylan Pavelek (Marysville, Mich.) doubled Team USA's lead at 6:27 of the second period. Cutting across the ice deep into the Youngstown zone, Shane Gersich (Chaska, Minn.) found Nolan Stevens (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) in the slot. Stevens, cutting left to right across DeAugustino, slipped the puck backwards to Pavelek who buried the puck for the score. Eichel pushed the U.S. lead to 3-0 at 15:24 while on the power play. Dancing around three Youngstown defenders, Eichel pulled the puck back toward his body in the left faceoff circle and sent a puck hard along the ice and under DeAugustine's pads for the third goal of the night. The Phantoms pulled within two goals, 3-1, with 1:20 left in the stanza.
Tuch notched his second of the night just 3:58 into the final frame, teaming up with Milano for the score. Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.) gave the U.S. a 5-1 advantage at 8:34, with Stevens getting credited for his second helper on the tally. Youngstown closed the gap at 10:39 with another power-play strike, but would get no closer as Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) clinched the 6-2 victory with an unassisted power-play goal at 17:25. Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y.) assisted on the play.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team returns to collegiate action next weekend when it faces Utica College (Dec. 14) and RPI (Dec. 15). Team USA is 4-3-0 (W-L-OTL) versus Division I and III opponents this season.
Sonny Milano has at least one point in 11 of 12 games within the United States Hockey League. The forward is currently on a five-game point streak (5-8). Milano's 24 points (7-17) rank tied for eighth in the league in just 12 games played ... Jack Eichel has points in 9 of 10 USHL contests and has recorded eight multi-point games. Eichel extended his point streak to five games, recording seven goals and adding five assists in that span ... Alex Tuch is also riding a five-game point streak in USHL action. The forward has five goals and five assists in that span ... Dylan Larkin has points (5-4) in six straight league games ... Edwin Minney improved to 6-0-1 (W-L-OTL) within the USHL, registering a 2.58 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in eight appearances ... Download the Sport Ngin Mobile App for Apple iOS and Android devices and follow the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams. Fans, parents, athletes, and coaches now have unprecedented access to scores, stats, schedules, photos, and more. The app is free and allows users to track scores and news updates from one team. Those wishing to follow more than one team can make a simple in-app purchase of $1.99. Click here to download the app.
J.J. Piccinich (1 goal, 1 assist)
Kyle Connor (1 goal, 1 assist)
U.S. National Under-18 Team
Alex Tuch (2 goals)