YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Three different players scored, each goal coming off of special teams play, but the U.S. National Under-17 Team was handed a 6-3 loss by the Youngstown Phantoms tonight at the Covelli Centre.
Team USA opened the scoring midway through the first period, capitalizing on a miscue behind the Phantoms net. Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) stole the puck while forechecking on the penalty kill and centered it to Colin White (Hanover, Mass.). White wristed the puck past Sean Romeo to light the lamp. Youngstown tied the game just over a minute later. Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) retook the lead for the U.S. while on the power play. Cycling the puck, Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) found Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) in the left corner. Floodstrand fed Kunin in the slot for the tally. The Phantoms pulled even again at 15:33 before grabbing the lead off a successful penalty shot at 17:48.
Youngstown made it a 4-2 lead just 58 seconds into the second stanza. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) continued the back-and-forth battle, potting a power-play goal for the Under-17 Team at 8:22. Bracco earned an assist on the play. The Phantoms regained their two-goal lead at 16:35 and Team USA went into the second intermission down 5-3.
Team USA outshot Youngstown, 14-6, in the final frame but could not find beat Romeo to pull any closer. The Phantoms added an empty net goal with 10 seconds remaining to seal the win over the U.S.
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) made 14 saves in the loss for Team USA, while Romeo turned aside 35 shots in the win for Youngstown.
Follow the NTDP on Twitter ... Like the NTDP on Facebook ... 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.
Kyle Connor (3 goals, 1 assist)
Tyler Spezia (2 goals)
J.J. Piccinich (1 goal, 2 assists)