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Larkin Notches Two to Pace U18s in Win Over Youngstown

03/23/2014, 7:15pm EDT
By USA Hockey

Photo by Tom Sorensen.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) notched two goals and nine different players registered at least one point as the U.S. National Under-18 Team battled back from an early deficit to defeat the Youngstown Phantoms, 5-3, here today at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.

Team USA opened the scoring at the 4:08 mark of the first period. A shot from Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) caromed off a Youngstown defender before Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.) one-timed the rebound from the top of the left circle into the net. Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) collected a secondary assist. Youngstown responded by scoring three unanswered goals, including one with a man advantage. The Under-18 Team cut the gap to one goal at 18:18. Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) rifled a shot that bounced off netminder Sean Romeo and onto the stick of Larkin, who buried the puck into the back of the net. Jack Dougherty (Cottage Grove, Minn.) registered the second helper.

Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) evened the score, 3-3, 10:30 into the second stanza. From the right wing, Eichel fed Werenski at the point for a shot that found the upper right corner of the cage. Team USA retook the lead, 4-3, at 16:54. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) slipped past a defender, skated into the slot and fired the eventual game-winner past Romeo. Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y.) assisted on the play.

Larkin clinched the 5-3 victory for Team USA in the final minute of the game after Youngstown pulled Romeo in favor of an extra attacker.  

Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) had 13 saves in the win for Team USA, while Romeo turned away 34 shots in the loss for Youngstown.

The U.S. National Under-18 Team will face the Omaha Lancers next Saturday (March 29) at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT. The game is available online at


Team USA outshot Youngstown, 39-16 ... The U18s are 19-5-2 this season versus teams in the USHL ... Jack Eichel recorded his 15th multi-point effort within the USHL this season in 22 regular-season games played. His two points tonight helped propel him past Peter Mueller (Bloomington, Minn./2003-05) and Matthew Nieto (Long Beach, Calif./2008-10) for eighth place on the NTDP all-time points list ... Dylan Larkin is on a three-game scoring streak dating back to March 15. The forward has five goals in that span ... Ryan Hitchcock now has four points (1-3) in his past two games  ... Zach Werenski has eight points (5-3) in his past five USHL contests dating back to March 15 ... Auston Matthews has scored in back-to-back games (March 22-23) ... Follow the NTDP on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Three Stars of the Game

1st Star
U.S. National Under-18 Team
Dylan Larkin (2 goals)

2nd Star
U.S. National Under-18 Team
Ryan Hitchcock (2 assists)

3rd Star
U.S. National Under-18 Team
Louie Belpedio (1 goal)

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