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Team USA Takes Silver at Under-18 Men’s World Championship

By USA Hockey, 05/05/24, 2:15PM EDT


Eiserman breaks USA Hockey NTDP goal-scoring record

ESPOO, Finland – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team took home silver following a 6-4 loss to Canada in the gold medal game at the 2024 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship in Finland on Sunday. 

The team’s silver medal marks the program’s 20th all-time medal at the tournament.

“I thought the game was a really well-played game between two really good teams,” said Nick Fohr, head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team. “It’s never about one play and it’s never about one player, this is a team game. I felt our team did a lot of really good things today, but unfortunately, we came up on the wrong end.”

The opening period looked as it would end goalless, but Christian Humphreys (Pittsburgh, Pa.) finally found the back of the net with 52 seconds to play in the frame. From behind the net, Humphreys tried to center the puck, but it got kicked around in the crease and right back for him to shove in on the backhand for a 1-0 lead. Logan Hensler (Woodbury, Minn.) and Trevor Connelly (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) helped develop the play to collect assists on the opening score.


Team USA nearly doubled up the Canadians in shots, earning an 11-6 advantage in the first 20 minutes. Prior to the score, the U.S. saw great chances from James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) at the halfway mark, who couldn't get all of his shot alone in front and Brendan McMorrow (Lakeville, Minn.), who redirected a Will Skahan (Woodbury, Minn.) attempt late in the period that Carter George managed to get a pad on. 

Canada found the evener 5:31 into the second period as Ryder Ritchie chipped a little shot in over the shoulder of Nick Kempf (Chicago, Ill.) on a 2-on-1 rush. 

It was a Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) one-timer on the power play to restore the Team USA lead at 8:31 of the second. After a Canada clear, Cole Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) collected the loose puck, maneuvered through a pair of defenders and found Eiserman in his office at the right circle for a 2-1 lead. The goal was Eiserman's 127th career tally with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, gaining sole possession of the all-time career goal scoring record. 

The U.S. earned the first two-goal lead of the game courtesy of a Hutson far-side finish with seven minutes to play in the second. Shane Vansaghi (St. Louis, Mo.) drove the length of the ice and feathered a perfect pass through the slot for Hutson to one-time in, making it a 3-1 contest. Skahan kickstarted the play to earn the secondary assist, his second point in as many days. 

Before the close of the second, Canada's Gavin McKenna roofed a backhand shot from in close to close the gap to 3-2 on a Canadian power play. 

Right off the ensuing draw, Hagens had a great opportunity to get one back, but his backhand attempt was denied by the stick of a sprawling George on a highlight-reel stop to keep it a one-goal game after 40 minutes. 

Kempf made his best stop of the night around six minutes into the final frame, as he gloved a back-door attempt from Canadian captain Porter Martone on the power play. 

With 9:35 to play in regulation, McKenna wound up for a one-timer from between the hashes and deposited in the top corner to tie the game at three goals apiece.

Canada took its first lead of the night with a pair of scores in the last minute of a major power play. Cole Beaudoin pushed home a back-door feed to give them a 4-3 lead with 6:20 to play and Tij Iginla added another 39 seconds later to extend the lead to 5-3. 

The U.S. pulled back within one with 4:24 remaining in the third. After an offensive-zone faceoff win back to Hutson, he passed to EJ Emery (Compton, Calif) at the right point, who ripped a rising shot on goal. Brodie Zeimer (Hutchinson, Minn.) deflected the shot down into the back of the net. 

McKenna iced the game with an empty-net goal with 20 seconds remaining. 

NOTES: Cole Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) was named Team USA’s player of the game … James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player following a 22-point performance … James Hagens received the Directorate Award for Best Forward and  Cole Hutson received the Directorate Award for Best Defender … James Hagens and Cole Hutson were named to the Media All-Star Team … The U.S. outshot Canada, 35-25 … Team USA was 1-for-4 on the extra-skater opportunity. 


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