The U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams head across the Atlantic Ocean this week for their respective Five Nations Tournaments. The U17s will travel to Sweden for their final overseas competition, while the U18s head to Russia. Both squads will face competition from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL TRIP: The U.S. National Under-17 Team heads to Sundsvall, Sweden, for the U17 Five Nations Tournament. The U17s open play against Finland on Wednesday before facing the Czech Republic on Friday. The squad closes out the tournament against Russia on Saturday and host Sweden on Sunday.
“It’s always nice to go back and play in our age group,” said head coach Don Granato, whose squad is 11-0-0 in international games this season. “One of our challenges will be playing four games against some good competition in a short period of time. We are looking to play with consistency and focus and to give 100 percent on each shift.”
In their lone action from last week, the U17s dropped a 4-1 United States Hockey League decision at Indiana on Thursday. Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.) registered the lone goal, while Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) stopped 20 shots between the pipes.
ANOTHER FIVE NATIONS: The U.S. National Under-18 Team heads to Dmitrov, Russia, for the U18 Five Nations Tournament. The U18s open play against host Russia on Tuesday, followed by a Thursday game against Finland. Sweden is up next on Friday before the team ends against the Czech Republic on Saturday.
“This trip is another good measuring stick for our players,” head coach Danton Cole said. “We have improved as a team since we went to the Four Nations in Finland this past November. It will be good to see where we are as a team; we want to see the guys play the right way and compete on both sides of the puck.”
The U18s posted a 5-1 win over previously unbeaten Adrian College on Jan. 28. Adrian is the top-ranked team in NCAA Division III. Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.), Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.), Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) and Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y.) scored the goals. In net, Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) and Blake Weyrick (Ojai, Calif.) combined for 14 saves.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.