skip navigation

Team USA Shuts Out Slovakia, 9-0, to Open U18 World Championship

By USA Hockey, 04/25/24, 10:00AM EDT


Hagens tallies four points; Kempf records 24-save shutout

ESPOO, Finland - Behind two goals and two assists from James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and a 24-save shutout from Nick Kempf (Chicago, Ill.), the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team shut out Slovakia, 9-0, today in the opening game of the IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship. 

"I thought our team played really hard and played with pace, which is something we really wanted to establish today,” said head coach Nick Fohr. “We haven’t played many games in the last couple weeks and we were able to get everybody moving and up to speed out there.” 

Team USA wasted no time getting the first goal of the 2024 IIHF U18 Men's World Championship as Cole Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) found the back of the net 2:34 into the game. He collected a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated around a Slovak defender and snapped a shot from the left faceoff dot for his first point of the tournament. 

Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) doubled the lead on a power play, converting on a back-door feed from Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) just past the halfway mark of the period. Hagens fed Ziemer in the bumper position to pick up the second assist on the 2-0 score.

With 41 ticks remaining in the period, Hagens put his name in the goal column to make it three in a row for the United States. He collected a loose puck in the defensive zone, drove the center lane down the sheet and finished five-hole past Slovak netminder Alan Lendak. 


Less than a minute into the middle frame, Team USA's top line combined for another score, this one from Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.). Ziemer fed Hagens into the attacking zone. He cut towards center to draw both defenders, and left a drop-pass for Stiga, who fired far side for a 4-0 U.S. lead. 

Defenseman John Whipple (Minnetonka, Minn.) added another for the U.S. with a wrister from the left dot with 5:18 left in the period. Eiserman drew the puck back for Dakoda Rhéaume-Mullen (Northville, Mich.), who left it for his cutting D-partner. Whipple skated in and deposited his shot far-side.

Hagens put on another score for the U.S. with a highlight-reel tally late in the period after a beautiful offensive-zone passing display. From the goal line, Ziemer found Stiga stationed between the hashes. He went no-look, behind-the-back to Hagens, whose quick one-timer made it 6-0 after two periods. 

Christian Humphreys (Pittsburgh, Pa.) collected his first of the tournament at 7:18 of the third on a tic-tac-toe sequence, set up from Trevor Connelly (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Hutson. 

Eiserman added his second with 10:02 to play and completed the hat-trick late to cap the game's 9-0 final. 

Kempf kept the zero on the board throughout to complete his IIHF debut with a shutout. 

After an off day tomorrow, Team USA will return to the ice Saturday (April 27) to take on Norway. Puck drop is slated for 5:30 p.m. local / 10:30 a.m. ET and the game can be seen live on NHL Network. 

NOTES: James Hagens was named Team USA’s Player of the Game with two goals and two assists … The U.S. went 1-3 on the power play and was 1-1 on the penalty kill … Team USA outshot Slovakia, 35-24 ... Team USA is back in action Friday, April 27 against Norway at 10:30 a.m. ET on NHL Network ... For complete tournament news, including full schedule, broadcast information, stats and standings, click here ... Team USA news, including tournament interviews and highlights, can be found at




2024 U18 Men's Worlds Insider

2024 U18 Men's Worlds Roster

U18 Men's Worlds History

More Team USA News