COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Will Zellers (Maple Grove, Minn.) scored a hat trick to lead the U.S. to a 10-1 victory over Germany in its first game of the 2022 Athletix Five Nations Tournament tonight at Ed Robson Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I thought the focus and energy was great in the first period with the players coming out and obviously we quickly got rewarded with a goal,” said Dan Jablonic (Milwaukee, Wis.), head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team. “Second period came and I think we lost our identity a bit, but I was really happy for the kids in the third. I think they got back to dictating to play and that’s what you want to see out of our game. It’s a start we want to build on.”
Geno Carcone (Woodstock, Ga.) gave the U.S. an early 1-0 lead just 38 seconds in. Team USA was able to force a turnover and Carcone slid a backhander past the pad of German goaltender Erik Eder. Mac Swanson (Anchorage, Alaska) and Dallas Vieau (Hermantown, Minn.) both picked up assists on the goal.
Zellers struck next for the U.S. off the faceoff. Chase Stefanek (Yorba Linda, Calif.) won the draw and Gavin Cornforth (Milton, Mass.) immediately fired a shot off. Eder made the initial save, but Zellers got control of the rebound and forced it in at the 5:19 mark.
Aidan Park (Playa Vista, Calif.) added another tally to the U.S. lead with just over 12 minutes left in the first. He stole the puck off a German forward’s stick at center ice, carried it into the zone, and slid it into the net.
Zellers picked up his second of the night with 9:23 left in the period. Julian Brown (Montclair, N.J.) fed him the puck from behind the U.S. net, and Zellers dished it to Carson Pilgrim (Warrod, Minn.), who sent it back to Zellers and Zellers scored glove-side.
Team U.S. increased its lead to 5-0, again scoring early in the second period. Zellers picked up another goal off the faceoff, scoring over Eder’s shoulder. Cornforth picked up his second assist of the night. Germany got on the board just over two minutes later with a power-play goal but was still trailing by four.
Teddy MacAusland (Westwood, Mass.) scored his first of the evening with 5:23 left in the period. He skated up the ice and sent the puck into the net five-hole. Alex Bales (East Amherst, N.Y.) picked up an assist on the play.
The U.S. found the back of the net early in the third period as well. Bales gave the U.S. a 7-1 lead just 2:53 into the third, with MacAusland and Michael Risteau (Lakeville, Minn.) collecting assists. MacAusland scored his second of the night just before the halfway point, tapping in a setup from Andrew DellaSalla (Rye, N.Y.) on a 2-on-1. Team USA added another just 1:01 later. Tory Pitner (El Cerrito, Calif.) carried the puck into the zone from center ice, outskating all four German skaters and giving the U.S. a 9-1 lead. Pilgrim and Bales each added an assist.
With 2:18 left in the game, John Stout (Minnetonka, Minn.) buried one from the top of the right circle, bringing the final score to 10-1.
Thatcher Bernstein (Brookline, Mass.) backed the U.S. in net and recorded 12 saves in his Team USA debut.
The U.S. continues play in the 2022 Athletix Five Nations Tournament against Switzerland tomorrow at Ed Robson Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. local time (9 p.m. ET) and the game can be seen on Hockey TV.
The tournament opened today with Czechia taking on Switzerland this afternoon at Ed Robson Arena. Czechia got off to an early lead, finishing the first period up 1-0 and the middle frame up 4-2. And while the Swiss outscored the Czechs in the third, it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback. Czechia skated away with a 5-4 win.
William Mc Nutt finished with 35 saves for Switzerland, while Czechia's Adam Ebenstreitpicked up his first win of the tournament with 31.
NOTES: Team USA outshot Germany, 47-13 … Team USA was 1 for 5 on the power play, while Germany was 1 for 8 … Follow Team USA throughout the tournament by clicking here.