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Under-18 Team Takes Out Previously Undefeated Adrian College

01/28/2014, 10:15pm EST
By USA Hockey

Photo by Tom Sorensen.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Eleven players recorded at least one point, including five different goal scorers, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team took out the previously undefeated Adrian College Bulldogs, 5-1, here tonight at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. It marked just the second time the U.S. has topped the Bulldogs, and the first in regulation. With the win, Team USA’s record improves to 6-8-0 against NCAA Division I and III opponents.

Adrian appeared to have struck first at the 7:25 mark of the opening frame, but the goal was waved off after it was determined to have been kicked into the net. Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.) officially opened the scoring for Team USA 1:10 later, sending a puck from behind the goal line that bounced off Bulldogs goaltender Frank Crupi and into the net. Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.) and Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) picked up helpers on the play.

Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) doubled the U.S. lead at 10:10 of the second stanza, burying a back-door one-timer. After Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) fired a shot on Adrian netminder James Hamby, Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.) collected the rebound and circled around to the top of the right faceoff circle. Milano zipped a cross-ice pass through the slot to Tuch for the tally. The Bulldogs cut Team USA’s lead in half with a power-play goal at 13:25.

The U.S. answered with a power-play goal of its own at 6:55 of the final frame. Jack Dougherty (Cottage Grove, Minn.) stood at the left point and sent a pass to Tuch in the corner. Tuch found Milano in the slot before Milano spun around on the spot and fired a back-hander that sailed high over Scott Shackell’s glove. Hitchcock pushed the U.S. lead to 4-1 at 10:07 with a quick shot from the low slot. Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) and Bjork registered assists. Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y.) secured the 5-1 win with three minutes remaining, teaming up with Ryan Wagner (Park Ridge, Ill.) and Jared Fiegl (Parker, Colo.) for the score.

Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) kicked out all nine shots he faced and Blake Weyrick (Ojai, Calif.) made five saves for Team USA in the win, while Crupi, Hamby, and Shacknell combined to make 34 stops.

The U.S. National Under-18 Team will continue to train this week in preparation for its second international competition of the season, the Five Nations Tournament in Dmitrov, Russia. The tournament will run from Feb. 5-9, and features teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

Notes

Team USA outshot Adrian College, 39-15 ... Brandon Fortunato's third-period goal was his first with the National Team Development Program ... The Bulldogs' goal at 13:25 of the second period snapped a 98:10 shutout streak for the Under-18 Team, dating back to Jan. 24 against Youngstown ... 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.

Three Stars of the Game

1st Star
U.S. National Under-18 Team
Alex Tuch (1 goal, 1 assist)

2nd Star
U.S. National Under-18 Team
Ryan Hitchcock (1 goal, 1 assist)

3rd Star
U.S. National Under-18 Team
Jared Fiegl (1 assist)

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