RED DEER, Alberta – Will Whitelaw (Rosemount, Minn.) and Andrew Strathmann (Beach Park, Ill.) each had three points in the U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team’s 8-1 victory over Germany in its tournament-opening game of the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup on Sunday afternoon at Peavy Mart Centrium.
“All of our team preparation has talked about playing strong right out of the gate,” said Anthony Noreen (Chicago, Ill.), head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team. “We started a little slow in the first period, but we loved the way they responded in the second and especially in the third. We challenged them after the first, scored a goal early in the second and I thought we really got to our game there. Obviously good to get the first one and now we’ve just got to get ready for tomorrow.”
Whitelaw was the first to find the back of the net just after the five-minute mark. He intercepted a pass in the offensive zone to cause a turnover and held onto the puck, drove the net and slipped one between the post and left pad of German netminder Nico Pertuch, giving the U.S. an early 1-0 lead.
Just over two minutes later, Tanner Adams (Northport, N.Y.) sent the puck to Quentin Musty (Hamburg, N.Y.) at center ice, as Musty fed it to Carey Terrance (Akwesasne, N.Y.) in front of the net. Terrance picked up the puck in stride and flipped it up, off the post and crossbar and into the net.
Team USA came into the second with 1:01 remaining on a power play, and Joe Connor (Amherst, N.H.) capitalized on the one-man advantage. Strathmann set up Whitelaw at the top of the left circle for a shot, but Pertuch made the save. Connor then found the puck off the rebound and put the U.S. up 3-0.
Joe Gramer (Moorhead, Minn.) got his name on the stat sheet at the 3:57 mark. With the U.S. on the power play, Charlie Kinsman (Orchard Park, N.Y.) received a pass from Griffin Erdman (Wilmington, Del.) at the point and sent it across the blue line to Gramer, who fired a shot from the point over the glove hand of Pertuch and into the net.
Linus Brandl scored a short-handed goal off a rebound to put Germany on the scoreboard midway through the second period, cutting the U.S. lead to 4-1.
Will McDonough (Duxbury, Mass.) was the next American to score. He stole the puck off the stick of Germany defender Jakob Peukert, carried it up the ice and into the zone and sent it over the glove hand of Dean Doge, who stepped into the goal for Germany after Gramer’s goal.
Back on the power play, Team USA found itself up 6-1 thanks to Strathmann. A.J. Lacroix (Livingston, N.J.) picked up a loose puck along the boards and connected with Strathmann, who skated into the top the left circle and scored top shelf for a 6-1 lead.
Six minutes later, Erdman scored one for himself after Zack Sharp (Naperville, Ill.) took a shot from the point and Connor was able to guide the puck to Erdman’s stick and Erdman quickly sent it into the net.
Whitelaw netted his second of the game to round out the scoring at 8-1. Strathmann received a pass from Lacroix and passed the pack to Whitelaw at center ice, who skated it into the zone and fired a shot off from the bottom of the left circle.
The U.S. continues play in the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup against Finland tomorrow at Peavy Mart Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET) and the game can be seen live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Will Whitelaw was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Germany, 49-15 … Team USA was 3-6 on the power play, while Germany was 0-4.