BASEL, Switzerland - The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team squares up with Finland this evening in the third preliminary-round game of the 2023 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. ET) at St. Jakob Arena and the game will broadcast live on NHL Network.
Team USA gets ready for its first back-to-back in the tournament after defeating Norway by a 12-1 final yesterday evening. Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) recorded three goals and two assists while Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) added a four-goal game in the U.S. victory.
"We keep saying to the players we've got to keep building, every game is going to be different," said Dan Muse (Canton, Mass.), head coach of the 2023 Under-18 Men's National Team after the win. "It was a good game and now we turn the page to get ready for tomorrow."
Perreault assisted on Ryan Leonard's (Amherst, Mass.) goal to make him the sole leader of points in a single season by any skater from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, passing NHL superstar Auston Matthews, who previously held the record with 117 points in the 2014-15 season.
"It's pretty crazy, it's not something I ever thought I was going to be able to do," said Perreault after the game. "Those are guys you look up to, so it's pretty special."
Perreault's seven points (3g-4a) leads all scorers in the event through two games played for each team.
U.S. netminder Carsen Musser (Sherburn, Minn.), who was making his IIHF debut in net, made 14 saves to pick up the win for Team USA.
The Finns are the only other undefeated team remaining in Group B as they beat Switzerland, 4-2, and Latvia, 5-2, on Thursday and Friday evenings to open the tournament. Forwards Jesse Nurmi (1g-2a) and Emil Jarventie (1g-2a) have paced the offense with a trio of points apiece.
The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team is 11-2-0-6 (W-OTW-OTL-L) all-time against Finland in the tournament, one of the most common opponents for Team USA. The all-time preliminary round history between the two teams is below:
April 9, 1999 -- Finland 5, USA 0
April 15, 2000 -- Finland 3, USA 2
April 14, 2001 -- Finland 4, USA 3
April 14, 2002 -- USA 3, Finland 2
April 17, 2003 -- USA 2, Finland 0
April 16, 2005 -- USA 3, Finland 0
April 18, 2008 -- USA 4, Finland 3
April 11, 2009 -- USA 4, Finland 3
April 12, 2012 -- USA 4, Finland 0
April 23, 2013 -- Finland 2, USA 1
April 22, 2014 -- USA 4, Finland 3
May 1, 2021 -- USA 5, Finland 4 (OT)