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U.S. Rounds out Prelims with Shootout Loss to Sweden

By USA Hockey, 08/07/19, 10:15AM EDT

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U.S. to face Czech Republic in fifth-place game

PIESTANY, Slovakia – The U.S. Under-18 Select Team rounded out preliminary-round play of the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup with a 5-4 shootout loss to Sweden here at Easton Arena.

The U.S. will face the Czech Republic in a fifth-place game Friday at 9:30 a.m. in Breclav, Czech Republic. 

“It was obviously a tough loss to Sweden,” said head coach Pat Ferschweiler. “I’m very proud of the guys’ effort. I thought everybody gave everything they had. At the end of the day, the squad came together and played hard. They should be very proud of themselves.”

The U.S. raced out to a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the first period when Alex Gaffney (Norton Shores, Mich.) snuck the puck through a scrum in the crease that beat Swedish goaltender Jesper Wallstedt.

Sweden equalized with 3:38 to play in the opening frame off a goal from Zion Nybeck to make it a 1-1 game heading into the first intermission.

Team USA came out strong in the second period and once again scored early, this time off the stick of Ryan Kirwan (DeWitt, N.Y.) who fired a wrist shot from the right circle past Wallstedt to regain the lead.

At the 14:21 mark, Mackie Samoskevich (Sandy Hook, Conn.) extended the U.S. lead to 3-1 when he finished a tic-tac-toe play from Cross Hanas (Highland Village, Texas) and Ben Schoen (Maumee, Ohio) while stationed at the back.

Sweden rallied in the opening minutes of the final frame, scoring back-to-back goals just 1:13 apart to knot the game at three goals apiece.

The U.S. regained the lead with 11:18 to play in regulation after Noah Ellis (Urbandale, Iowa) fired a Swedish clear through traffic and past Wallstedt, but Swedish forward William Eklund put away a game-tying goal with 4:48 remaining to force overtime.

Both teams generated chances in the five-minute overtime period, but could not convert and moved to a shootout.

After seven rounds, Daniel Ljungman of Sweden snuck the puck past Louden Hogg (Edina, Minn.) to secure a Swedish victory.

Hogg made a tournament-high 25 saves in goal for Team USA.

For the complete game statistics, click here.

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U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent Round Time (Local/ET)/Result Location Streaming Statistics U.S. Player of Game
Thurs., Aug. 1 Hungary (Under-20) Exhibition W, 6-4 Budapest, Hungary Live Stream
Box Score Alex Gaffney
Sat., Aug. 3 Czech Republic Exhibition L, 1-3 Břeclav, Czech Republic Requires VPN with Czech IP Address Box Score Louden Hogg
Mon., Aug. 5 Russia Preliminary L, 2-6
Piešťany, Slovakia Requires VPN with Slovakia IP Address
Box Score Jake Ratzlaff
Tues., Aug. 6 Slovakia Preliminary W, 4-3 (OT)
Piešťany, Slovakia Requires VPN with Slovakia IP Address
Box Score Ryan Beck
Wed., Aug. 7 Sweden Preliminary L, 4-5 (SOL)
Piešťany, Slovakia Requires VPN with Slovakia IP Address
Box Score Ryan Kirwan
Fri., Aug. 9 Czech Republic Fifth-Place Game L, 3-4 (OT)
Břeclav, Czech Republic Requires VPN with Czech IP Address
Box Score Wyatt Kaiser

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