PIESTANY, Slovakia – Cam Lund (Bridgewater, Mass.) recorded four goals and one assist, while Austin McNicholas (Clarence Center, N.Y.) earned the shutout as the U.S. defeated Germany, 10-0, in their final preliminary round game in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
"Although we had two goals in the first, I feel that we got off to a bit of a slow start," said J.D. Forrest, head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team. "McNicholas made some key saves for us in the first and then we really stepped it up in the second period. I wish we could've had a few of these goals in our previous games, but the team is very forward thinking. It was an educational day and lessons were learned which will help for the long term."
The U.S. took control of the game right from the start as Lund fed the puck from behind the net to Jimmy Clark (Edina, Minn.), who then set up a rebound opportunity back to Lund as he snuck around the net putting Team USA on the board. Zam Plante (Hermantown, Minn.) continued the scoring after forcing a neutral zone turnover where Ryan Abraham (Livonia, Mich.) picked up the loose puck and fed it back to Plante. The forward skated to the top of the faceoff circle and went far-side past German goaltender Felix Noack to put the team up two.
The U.S. didn’t slow down from there as Plante and Abraham were able to make use of the full sheet of ice, pushing the puck to Jake Livanavage (Gilbert, Ariz.) who got his first goal of the tournament. Nearly five minutes went by on the scoreboard while Team USA was playing up a man after a German penalty. The U.S. were able to spread the puck out once again, starting the play out from the blue line. Abraham dished to Gavin Hayes (Westland, Mich.) who ripped a shot on net, which bounced off the German netminder, setting up a rebound opportunity for Lund who found twine.
Just 12 seconds later, Brennan Ali (Glencoe, Ill.) dropped a pass back to Mikey DeAngelo (Itasca, Ill.) at the blue line who fed it across the ice to Lund, as he picked the corner to complete a hat trick and give the U.S. a 5-0 lead heading into the final frame.
The U.S. scoring attack came out of the locker room with intensity, holding the puck in the offensive zone as their penalty kill expired. Ryan Healey (Hull, Mass.) dished the puck from the blue line over to Vinny Borgesi (Philadelphia, Pa.) who found Lund waiting in front of the net to bury his fourth goal of the game.
Hayes added to the scoring, shorthanded, off the tape of Borgesi and Plante, seconds before Livanavage scored his second of the game. Clark and Borgesi capped the scoring for the U.S.
McNicholas started in net for the U.S., stopping all 18 shots faced.
The U.S. will face either Czech Republic or Finland in the fifth-place game Friday (Aug. 6) at 9:30 a.m. ET to finish play at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
For complete game statistics, click here.
NOTES: Lund was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. outshot Germany 33-18 … Team USA was 1-2 on the power play, and was a perfect 6-6 on the penalty kill … Follow Team USA throughout the tournament by clicking here.