POPRAD, Slovakia – Sean Dhooghe (Aurora, Ill.) scored the game-winning goal with :21 remaining in overtime to give the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team a 4-3 victory against Sweden here tonight in the semifinals of the 2017 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship.
The U.S. will play Finland tomorrow (April 23) in the gold-medal game at 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. ET) live on NHL Network.
“Everyone was out there doing their jobs tonight,” said U.S. Head Coach John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.). “It was a terrific hockey game and we’re certainly happy to win the game, but will quickly shift our focus to the job at hand tomorrow night.”
The U.S. opened the scoring with 9:32 left in the first period when Tommy Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) slapped a pass to Dhooghe who directed a shot on net, before Michael Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) jumped on the rebound and slid the puck past Sweden netminder Adam Ahman.
Following an early second period Sweden goal, the U.S. regained the lead on the power play when Grant Mismash (Edina, Minn.) fed a backhand pass from the top of the slot to Max Gildon (Plano, Texas) in the right circle, who fired a one-timer past Ahman. Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) also picked up an assist on the play.
Sweden scored two goals early in the third period to take a 3-2 lead before Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich.) circled the net and fed a backhand pass to the slot where Hughes gathered the puck and fired a wrist shot through the legs of Ahman to tie the game with 12:10 left in regulation. Neither team could break through down the stretch and the game entered a 10-minute, 4-on-4 overtime.
With just 21 seconds remaining in the extra session, Ryan Poehling (Lakeville, Minn.) stripped a Sweden defender of the puck and fed Dhooghe, who deked Ahman and slid the puck between his pads for the game winner.
U.S. netminder Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Mich.) finished with 26 saves on 29 shots to earn his sixth victory of the tournament.
The U.S. outshot Sweden 44-29 … Team USA went 1-4 on the power play while Sweden was 1-5 … Quinn Hughes was honored as the U.S. Player of the Game … Dylan St. Cyr, Sean Dhooghe and Quinn Hughes were honored as USA’s Top Three Players of the Tournament …Sean Dhooghe leads the U.S. with nine points (3-6-9) in six games … Team USA improved its all-time record against Sweden to 12-2-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) … The U.S. is now 7-5-1-2 all-time in semifinal games ... The U.S. will compete for its record 10th gold medal … The U.S. will face Finland in the gold-medal game for the third time … The U.S. is 7-2-0-3 all-time in gold medal games … For complete tournament information, visit the IIHF website. Team USA News, interviews, highlights and more can be found on the Team USA website ... Follow @USAHockey on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament. Scores will be designated with the#U18Worlds tag ... For additional coverage, visit the USA Hockey Facebook page and Instagram account.
|April 7||Exhibition vs. Belarus||W, 5-2||Hodonin, Czech Republic|
|April 10||Exhibition vs. Finland||W, 5-2||ZS Spisska Nova Ves|
|April 13||Belarus||W, 7-0||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 15||Russia||W, 5-4||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 17||Czech Republic||W, 5-2||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 18||Sweden||W, 5-1||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|W, 4-2||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|W, 4-3 OT||ZS Poprad||NHL Network|
|April 23||Finland • Gold Medal Game||W, 4-2||ZS Poprad||NHL Network|