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Under-17 Team Hangs Close, Ultimately Falls at Green Bay

03/30/2014, 10:15am EDT
By USA Hockey

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Nicholas Boka (Plymouth, Mich.) scored the lone goal for Team USA as the U.S. National Under-17 Team hung close, but ultimately fell to the Green Bay Gamblers, 4-1, here tonight at the Resch Center. The game served as the final road contest for the U17s in the 2013-14 United States Hockey League regular season.

Green Bay opened the scoring just over two minutes into the first period. Boka answered for Team USA at 11:17, knocking in a rebound. Circling behind the net, Luke Kirwan (DeWitt, N.Y.) wristed a shot from the top of the face off circle. Boka drove hard to the net, scooping up the rebound and beating Cam Hackett.

The Gamblers restaked its one-goal advantage 4:16 into the second stanza. The tally was scored on the power play. Eleven shots were sent on net by the Under-17 Team in the frame, but none would find the back of the net.

Team USA found itself down just one score in the third period, but Green Bay extended its lead at 16:03 of the final frame. U.S. netminder Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) was pulled in favor of the extra attacker, but the Gamblers scored in the empty net to seal the win.

Opilka made 13 saves in the loss for the U17s, while Hackett turned aside 29 shots in the victory for Green Bay.

The U.S. National Under-17 Team will return home next weekend for the final National Team Development Program home games of the 2013-14 regular season. Team USA will first face the Sioux City Musketeers on Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m. EDT at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The following night (April 5), Dubuque visits Team USA to close out the regular-season slate.

Notes

Team USA outshot Green Bay, 30-17 ... Luke Kirwan has 12 points (4-8) in his past 10 games within the USHL dating back to Feb. 14 ... Nicholas Boka scored in back to back games (March 28-29) and also collected one assist over the weekend ... Follow the NTDP on Twitter and Instagram 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.

Stars of the Game

1st Star
Green Bay Gamblers
Ryan Lough (2 goals)

2nd Star
Green Bay Gamblers
Nick Schmaltz (1 goal, 1 assist)

3rd Star
Green Bay Gamblers
Cam Hackett (29 Saves)

Tag(s): News  Teams  Under-17 Team Home  U.S. National Under-17 Team