USA White and Finland squared off in opening Wednesday action at USA Hockey Arena, battling to a close 4-3 decision. Forward Thomas Bordeleau led all skaters with three points, a goal and two assists, in the game.
Finland and USA White exchanged goals in the opening 10 minutes, with Bordeleau putting the U.S. on the board courtesy of a top shelf power play goal, beating Finland goaltender Leevi Merilainen. Luke Tuch put the U.S. ahead, 2-1, after beating out a delayed icing himself before scoring on a wraparound attempt.
The game would be tied once again just three minutes into the period, with Finland cashing in on an extra-man advantage. Despite the score tied at two apiece at the end of the second, USA White continued to push offensive play outshooting Finland, 24-15.
Finland retook the lead in the opening minutes of the third period, and despite USA White’s best efforts, would hang onto the lead until they would eventually put in an empty-net goal, making the score, 4-2. With 50 seconds remaining, Bordeleau took a slapshot and broke his stick, but Dylan Duke was ready in front of the net and pushed the puck across the goal line.
Kaidan Mbereko started in net for the U.S., stopping 18 of 21 shots. USA White outshot Finland, 35-22. The U.S. power play was one for four on the day, and two for three on the penalty kill.
Matthew Knies and Chase Yoder scored two goals apiece as USA Blue went on to defeat Sweden, 5-2, in the Wednesday evening matchup.
Yoder put the U.S. on the board first, scoring off a rebound from an initial Scott Morrow shot. Sweden responded midway through the first, tying the game 1-1, but the U.S. power play would strike back. Morrow faked a shot and sent a laser pass to Knies for an open one-timer.
Knies struck again 45 seconds in the second period, taking a puck into the slot and sniped a shot bardown over the glove of Sweden netminder Philip Svedeback. However, Sweden responded with a five-on-three power play goal of their own. Chaz Lucius put USA Blue up, 4-2, with five minutes remaining in the period. While on the man advantage, Lucius crashed the net for a rebounded Matt Coronato shot. Carter Mazur followed up the effort, working down low, fought for the puck before dishing it over to Yoder before he tucked in his second of the night.
Each team exchanged power play opportunities, but Drew Commesso and the U.S. penalty kill shut down any attempts of a Sweden comeback.
Commesso started for USA Blue and stopped 27 of 29 shots. The U.S. outshot Sweden 35-29.
Action will continue Friday (July 30) at USA Hockey Arena, as USA White will square off against Finland at 1 p.m, and USA Blue will play against Sweden at 4 p.m. ET. All games will be broadcast live on HockeyTV.com. Fans can purchase tickets here.