BŘECLAV, Czechia – The U.S Under-18 Men’s Select Team scored five unanswered goals to take down Sweden, 6-1, in the second game of the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup at FOSFA Arena Břeclav on Tuesday.
"It was a great effort by the guys to play an unselfish and connected game," said Luke Strand (Eau Claire, Wis.), head coach of the U.S Under-18 Men's Select Team. "We want to improve daily and set our focus on our next opportunity to play."
With the victory, Team USA moves to 1-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) on the tournament.
JJ Monteiro (Hudson, Mass.) opened the scoring, recording a shorthanded score to give Team USA a 1-0 lead at 9:22 in the first period. Trevor Connelly (Tustin, Calif.) picked up the puck at the point and rimmed it along the boards to Monteiro behind the net for a wrap-around goal.
Sweden responded at 16:53 in the first when Alexander Zetterberg netted a cross-ice pass through the back door of goaltender Caleb Heil (Victoria, Minn.).
The U.S regained the lead with 35 seconds remaining in the first period after Aidan Park (Playa Vista, Calif.) tucked the puck past Sweden’s goaltender. John McNelis (Potomac, Md.) and Connelly drew assists on the play.
The U.S added another late tally with just over a minute remaining in the second period. Ryker Lee (Wilmette, Ill.) sent a pass to Tanner Henricks (Mission Viejo, Calif) at the top of the offensive zone. Henricks found William Felicio (Holden, Mass.) on the far side where he skated in and lined up a wrist shot to send Team USA into the third period with a 4-1 lead.
Stefanek notched his second goal of the game early in the third period. He sped up the ice with Monteiro on a two-on-one and netted a one-timer shot.
NOTES: Caleb Heil (Victoria, Minn.) was named Team USA’s player of the game… Team USA faces Germany on Wednesday, Aug. 2, at 9:30 a.m. ET on NHL Network.