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Gameday: U.S. Takes on Czech Republic in 2021 Five Nations Tournament Opener

By USA Hockey, 08/17/21, 7:30AM EDT

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Puck Drops at 12:30 p.m. ET

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s Select Team opens its 2021 Five Nations Tournament campaign against Czech Republic today at 12:30 p.m. ET. The game will be played at Lonza Arena in Visp, Switzerland. The game will be streamed live on YouTube.

Today’s Opponent: Czech Republic:

Team USA is 3-2 (W-L) in its last five meetings with Czech Republic at the Five Nations Tournament. Before a setback of losses in the 2018 and 2019 tournaments, the U.S. took home the 2017 championship after a 5-3 win over Czech. The U.S. came out with a 2-0 lead halfway through the second period with a shorthanded goal from Josh Groll (San Diego, Calif.). The Czechs responded with a goal of their own before Cole McWard (Fenton, Mo.) put the U.S. back up.

The Czechs eventually tied the game early in the third period with the game tied at three as time was winding down. Forward Grant Silianoff (Edina, Minn.) tapped home the tie-breaker for the eventual title-winning goal, as the U.S. netted and empty netter to take the 5-3 win.

The year previous, the U.S. took a 6-1 victory over the Czech Republic after its 5-4 victory in the 2015 tournament. The U.S. played from behind as the Czechs scored a pair of goals at the halfway mark of the first period. Brannon McManus (Newport Beach, Calif.) got the U.S. on the board after Jacob Tortora (Victor, N.Y.) knotted things up with 2:06 left to go in the first.

The U.S. found itself down two goals again in the second period, but Connor Mayer (Champlin, Minn.) would net the equalizer with less than three minutes to go in the second. Forward Mick Messner (Madison, Wis.) recorded the game-winner as Team USA won, 5-4.

Pre-Tournament Recap:

The U.S. skated in one pre-tournament game prior to the start of this year’s tournament, defeating host nation Switzerland, 8-4, on Sunday.

Seven U.S. players recorded at least a point, as Carey Terrance (Akwesasne, N.Y.) led the team with two goals and four assists, for a total of six points. William Whitelaw (Rosemount, Minn.) led Team USA in goals, recording a hat trick as well as adding on an assist.

The U.S. came out with two quick goals in the first five minutes of action, coming 41 seconds apart. Switzerland was able to tie things up in the first before Whitelaw added his first of three to give the U.S. the lead heading into the locker room. 

Whitelaw added another goal 4:52 into the frame to put U.S. up two, but Switzerland was able to come back and tie the game up at four. From there, four different Americans netted a goal, including three goals in the span of 3:08 minutes in the second.

Zack Ferris (Venetia, Pa.) and Thomas Kiesewetter (Plymouth, Mass.) split time in net as Kiesewetter stopped every shot he faced.

For a behind the scenes look at the Under-17 team and its preparation into the tournament, click here.

Schedule & Results

2022 U17 Five Nations

U17 Five Nations History

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