It is a relatively quiet week for the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams. The U18s return home to face a pair of United State Hockey League opponents and the U17s enjoy a break from competition.
HOME SWEET HOME: The U.S. National Under-18 Team returns home to the Ann Arbor Ice Cube to face a pair of USHL opponents with a Friday game against the Muskegon Lumberjacks and a Saturday game against the Waterloo Black Hawks. The puck drops at 7 p.m. EST both nights.
This weekend also marks the first set of home games for the U18s since Nov. 30 - Dec. 1.
“It’s always good to return home and play on our own ice,” head coach Danton Cole said. “We had some good things to build on from this past weekend, and we will continue to work as we get ready for two tough USHL opponents.”
The U18s opened the weekend with a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Hitmen on Saturday. Dylan Pavelek (Marysville, Mich.) scored the opening goal on a penalty shot, while Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) and Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.) added third-period goals. Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) stopped 26 shots to earn the win.
The squad closed out its week by dropping a 5-2 decision at the University of Massachusetts on Sunday. Eichel and Bjork registered the goals, while Blake Weyrick (Ojai, Calif.) finished with 17 stops in net and Minney made 11 saves in relief.
BYE WEEK: After playing nine games in a 15-day span, the U.S. National Under-17 Team will enjoy a bye this week. The squad returns to action on Jan. 24 at Muskegon.
“It will be good this week to have room for practice on the ice and time to spend in the weight room,” head coach Don Granato said. “We just finished a difficult stretch in our schedule and this break will allow time for our squad to work on different areas of the game before we return to action.”
The U17s dropped a pair of USHL road games over the weekend, falling 5-1 at Indiana on Friday and 6-3 at Youngstown on Saturday. Against Indiana, Dennis Yan (Troy, Mich.) registered the lone goal, while Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) finished with 19 saves in net.
Colin White (Hanover, Mass.), Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.), and Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) tallied the goals in the loss at Youngstown. Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) finished with 14 saves.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.