The U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team will look to bounce back in preliminary play against Sweden today at Easton Arena. Puck drop is slated for 9:30 a.m. ET.
Today’s Opponent: Sweden
Team USA is 2-3 (W-L) in its last five meetings with Sweden at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. The two teams last faced off in the 2019 tournament as Sweden came away with the win during a shootout. 2020 NHL Draft selection Noah Ellis (Urbandale, Iowa) broke the 3-3 tie halfway through the third period of play to give the U.S. the edge, but Sweden put up the equalizer with less than five minutes in regulation. After seven rounds in the shootout, Sweden would come away victorious. Before that, the teams hadn’t faced since a 6-1 U.S. loss in 2017, with Phillipe Lapointe (Burr Ridge, Ill.) picking up the lone goal for the team.
In 2014, U.S. and Sweden met up in the third-place game as it went into overtime tied at four. Sweden came back in the third down by two with the game-tying goal coming with two minutes left in regulation. Time was winding down in overtime as Dennis Yan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) finished a play in front of the net in the final minute of overtime to take the game.
The two teams met in another crucial matchup as the U.S. was able to take down Sweden once again in overtime, 5-4, to advance to the championship round.
Since the tournament was renamed the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in 2006, Sweden has finished in the top three 10 times, including three second-place finishes and one first-place finish.
Game One Recap:
The U.S. fell, 5-2, to co-host Slovakia in its tournament-opening game Monday evening at Easton Arena.
Team USA went down early as Slovakia was able to score three quick goals in the opening minutes of the game. Slovakia made it 4-0 with a little over a minute played in the middle frame, before Zam Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) got the scoring started for the U.S. with 14:15 left to play. With five minutes left to play in the period, Jonah Aegerter (Janesville, Wis.) got the dish from Quinn Finley (Suamico, Wis.) and cut the lead in half after burying a goal.
Slovakia was able to tally one more goal within the opening minutes of the third as the U.S. couldn’t get anything more in the back of the net, dropping their opening game 5-2.