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U.S. Advances to Semifinals with 4-0 Win Over Switzerland

By USA Hockey, 05/02/24, 8:00AM EDT


Kempf pitches 17-save shutout, Hagens scores twice

ESPOO, Finland - James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) recorded two goals and an assist and Nick Kempf (Chicago, Ill.) pitched a 17-save shutout to help the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team to a 4-0 victory over Switzerland in the quarterfinals of the 2024 IIHF U18 Men's World Championship.

With the win, Team USA will advance to the semifinals on Saturday to face Slovakia.

“We had to battle a really hard Swiss team that made the game tough on us," said head coach Nick Fohr. "We didn’t have our best game, but good teams find a way to win, which I’m proud of our guys for. Now it’s on to rest and recovery as we get ready for the semifinals on Saturday.”

The first 20 minutes was played without a score, marking the first period of the tournament that Team USA did not find the back of the net. 

The U.S. applied pressure throughout and generated chances, especially nearing the end of the frame as Shane Vansaghi (St. Louis, Mo.) and EJ Emery (Compton, Calif.) earned clean looks on net.

Both netminders were sharp to begin the contest. Kempf turned aside seven shots in the opening frame while Switzerland's Christian Kirsch made a dozen stops. 

Team USA finally connected at 7:11 of the second during 4-on-4 action. After a Swiss neutral-zone turnover, Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) came up with the loose puck to begin a 2-on-1 break. He drew the defender and slid to Hagens, who finished at the left hashes for a 1-0 U.S. lead. 

With nine minutes to play in the second, Kempf made his best save on the night as he stoned Kevin Haas with the right pad on a shorthanded breakaway attempt.


Christian Humphreys (Pittsburgh, Pa.) doubled the U.S. with a little less than five minutes to play in the middle frame. Emery put the initial shot on net, which the Swiss tried to clear after the save. The puck bounced right to Humphreys, who fired between the blocker and pad of Kirsch for his third goal of the tournament. 

Before the close of the period, the United States added another, again with Hagens and Ziemer on a 2-on-1 rush. Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.) chipped the puck up along that boards that Hagens grabbed with speed into the offensive zone. He went to Ziemer early, who finished over the glove of Kirsch to make it a 3-0 contest after 40 minutes. 

Hagens added his second of the afternoon midway through the final period of regulation on a power move in front of the net. He drove down the left wing, veered towards the slot and shoved a second-chance backhander through the five-hole to extend the U.S. lead to four, which held until the final buzzer.

Kempf finished with 17 saves for his second shutout in four IIHF appearances, earning wins in all four. 

The United States will move on to the semifinals on Saturday here at Metro Arena in Espoo against Slovakia. Puck drop is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. local / 7:00 a.m. ET.

NOTES: With 17 saves and his second shutout of the tournament, goaltender Nick Kempf was named Team USA’s Player of the Game … The U.S. and Switzerland both went 0-5 on the power play … Team USA outshot Switzerland, 35-17 ...  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




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