RED DEER, Alberta – Andrew Strathmann (Beach Park, Ill.) scored the game-winning goal to carry the U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team to a 4-2 victory over Slovakia in the fifth-place game of the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup Friday afternoon at Peavy Mart Centrium.
Slovakia was the first to find the back of the net, scoring off the rebound to take a 1-0 lead five minutes into play.
The U.S. responded with a goal of its own ten minutes later at the 15:56 mark. Joe Connor (Amherst, N.H.) tipped in a shot from Joe Gramer (Moorhead, Minn.), deflecting the puck into the net to tie the game at one apiece. Griffin Erdman (Wilmington, Del.) also collected an assist on the play.
Team USA took the lead with 1:16 left in the period while on the man advantage. A.J. Lacroix (Livingston, N.J.) made a drop pass to Strathmann, who fired a shot from the point and past the Slovak goaltender. Will Whitelaw (Rosemount, Minn.) also earned an assist.
The U.S. increased its lead to 3-1 with another goal on the powerplay just 3:39 into the second period. Quentin Musty (Hamburg, N.Y.) made a pass to Lucas St. Louis (Old Greenwich, Conn.), who put the puck right on Tanner Adams’ (Northport, N.Y.) stick.
Zack Sharp (Naperville, Ill.) opened the third by adding another to the U.S.’s tally just over two minutes into play. Musty and Adams picked up assists on the goal. Then the Slovaks, looking to close in on the U.S., put one on the board at the 5:44 mark, bringing the final score to 4-2.
Hampton Slukynsky (Warroad, Minn.), who was in net for Team USA, tallied 33 saves.
NOTES: Hampton Slukynsky was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Slovakia 36-35 … Team USA was 2-3 on the power play, while Slovakia was 0-2 … With the win today and fifth-place finish, USA finished 2-0-0-2 at the tournament.