The U.S. is set to play Latvia in the last quarterfinal of the day at the 2022 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. ET) at Fanatec Arena and the game will broadcast live on NHL Network.
On Tuesday evening, the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team used a 10-2 win over host Germany to become the only team to sweep all three preliminary-round games at the tournament. Forwards Ruger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.), Cole Spicer (Grand Forks, N.D.) and Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) all scored two goals while Cruz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) added three helpers in the win.
“I was proud of our guys, I thought they played as a team throughout the whole game,” said head coach Adam Nightingale (Cheboygan, Mich.). “Now it’s time to reset, have a good day of practice tomorrow and get ready for our quarterfinal matchup on Thursday.”
Latvia enters the contest with a 1-0-0-2 record, winning its opening game against Sweden, before falling to Finland and Switzerland en route to a fourth-place finish in Group B. While only scoring seven goals in the three preliminary-round games, the Latvians have fared well on special teams, finishing the group stage with the second-best penalty kill (77.8%) and third-best power play (37.5%), matching the U.S. with three power-play scores.
The U.S. looks to continue its impressive defensive output as the goaltending duo of Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) and Tyler Muszelik (Long Valley, N.J.) have combined for the best goals-against average (2.33) and save percentage (.921) in the tournament.
On the offensive end, Team USA rosters nine of the top-18 leading scorers in the tournament, with Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) (5-1--6), Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) (2-3--5) and Cruz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) (1-4--5) leading the way.
At the 2021 IIHF U18 Men's World Championship, Team USA fell to Sweden, 5-2, in the quarterfinals as the team failed to advance to the medal-round for the first time since 2004. Seven players on this year's team were on last year's roster and will look to avenge the loss.
ALL-TIME AGAINST LATVIA
The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team is 4-0-0-0 all-time against Latvia in the tournament, with all four games coming in the preliminary round.
April 23, 2019 -- USA 7, Latvia 1
April 17, 2016 -- USA 12, Latvia 1
April 21, 2013 -- USA 7, Latvia 1
April 17, 2007 -- USA 8, Latvia 0