INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.) scored the lone goal, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team was handed a 4-1 loss by the Indiana Ice here tonight at Pan Am Pavilion. The game marked the final domestic game for the U17s who will next travel to Sundsvall, Sweden for the 2014 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.
Team USA outshot its opponent, 12-6, in the first period but could not solve Indiana goalkeeper Hayden Stewart. The Ice opened the scoring at 16:05, scoring five seconds after the U.S. killed off a slashing penalty.
Hanifin notched a power-play goal to pull even with the Ice at 7:31 of the second stanza. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) dropped a pass to Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) who fired the puck through traffic in front of the net. The puck caromed to Hanifin on the left side and the defenseman fired the rebound past Stewart. Indiana responded to regain the lead at 10:48.
Indiana scored once with the man advantage and converted on a penalty shot in the third period to extend its lead, 4-1, over team USA. The U.S. had 12 total shots on goal in an attempt to pull closer, but were held scoreless in the frame and fell to the Ice.
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) made 20 saves in the loss for the Under-17 Team, while Stewart turned aside 33 shots in the win for Indiana.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team will turn its focus to international competition next. Team USA opens the Five Nations Tournament against Finland on Feb. 5. The U17s will also face squads from the Czech Republic (Feb. 7), Russia (Feb. 8) and Sweden (Feb. 9).
Team USA outshot Indiana, 34-24 ... Nick Kunin made his debut for the Indiana Ice tonight. Nick is the older brother of U.S. National Under-17 Team forward, Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) ... Follow the NTDP on Twitter and like us 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.
Hayden Stewart (33 saves)
Denis Smirnov (1 goal, 1 assist)
Joshua Jacobs (1 goal)