The U.S. Under-17 Men’s Select Team continues play at the 2021 Five Nations Tournament against Slovakia today at 9:00 a.m. ET. The game will be played at Lonza Arena in Visp, Switzerland and streamed live on YouTube.
Today’s Opponent: Slovakia:
Team USA is 5-0 (W-L) in its last five meetings with Slovakia at the Five Nations Tournament, outscoring the team 35-8 in that span. The U.S.’s most recent win came at the 2019 tournament by a score of 9-3, led by five assists from Matt Argentina (Philadelphia, Pa.). At the 2018 tournament, U.S. netminder Colin Purcell (Shaker Heights, Ohio) helped lead the team to a 5-0 victory after he posted a seven-save shutout. Jack Williams (Biddeford, Maine) also helped secure the win as he tallied two goals and one assist to led the team at the tournament’s closeout game.
The U.S. met with Slovakia in its first-place run at the 2017 tournament, as both Josh Groll (San Diego, Calif.) and Cole McWard (Fenton, Mo.) each recorded a goal and two assists en route to a 7-1 victory. The most decisive victory Team USA had over Slovakia in its last five matchups came in 2016, where it took down Slovakia 10-1 en route to Team USA’s sixth first-place finish at the tournament.
The closest matchup in the past few years was a 4-3 overtime victory in 2015. The U.S. came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period before Team USA took a 3-2 lead in the third. Slovakia answered with a late goal to force overtime, but Jacob McGrew (Orange, Calif.) buried a rebound in overtime to give the U.S. the win.
Game One Recap:
William Whitelaw (Rosemount, Minn.) scored the first goal of the game in the first period which got Team USA going. Carey Terrance (Akwesasne, N.Y.) added a pair of goals in the first to put the pressure on and give the U.S. a comfortable 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. The U.S. packed it on as they took a four-goal lead in the second before the Czech Republic was able to find the scoreboard. The U.S. regained a four-goal lead after Danny Nelson (Maple Grove, Minn.) tallied his first of the tournament, with USA closing out the final period for a 5-2 final.
Meet The Coach:
At the helm of the 2021 U.S. Under-17 Men’s Select Team is American Development Model regional manager Bob Mancini (Saginaw, Mich.). Along with time spent at Michigan Tech University Hockey and Ferris State University Hockey, Mancini helped found USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in 1996. He served as the head coach for the U17 team, the assistant coach for the U18 team and was the director of player personnel during his four years with the program (1996-2000), ahead of his last international assignment for Team USA in 2000.
Mancini is familiar with international play as well. He has served as the director of player personnel for the U.S. National Junior Team which earned silver at the 1997 IIHF World Junior Championship. Along with World Juniors, he served as an assistant coach at the 1997 and 1998 IIHF Men’s World Championships, the 1998 and 1999 IIHF World Junior Championships and the 1999 and 2000 IIHF Men’s World Under-18 Championships.