BLAINE, Minn. - Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) notched two goals as the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team defeated Denmark, 5-1, here this evening at the National Sports Center. The game was the second of two pre-tournament contests preceding the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men's World Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) potted the game's first goal at 9:37 of the opening period. Linemate Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn.) and defenseman J.D. Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) collected assists on the play.
In the second frame, Keller picked up the first of his two goals, while Team USA was shorthanded, just 6:48 into the stanza. Anderson and Luke Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) assisted. With under five minutes to go in the period, Denmark got on the board to make it a 2-1 game. However, Keeghan Howdeshell (Brighton, Mich.) put the U.S. back up by a pair of scores with under three minutes to go in the session. Will Lockwood (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) picked up the helper on the shorthanded marker.
Keller netted a power-play goal just 18 seconds into the final frame to push the United States' lead to three goals. Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) registered an unassisted tally with less than five minutes remaining in the game for the 5-1 final score.
U.S. goaltender Joseph Woll (St. Louis, Mo.) played the opening 30:31 of the contest, while Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) finished the remainder of the game. Kasper Krog made 28 saves between the pipes for Denmark in the loss.
The U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team next opens preliminary-round competition at the 2016 IIHF Under-18 World Championship, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on Thursday (April 14) against Russia. Puck drop is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.
Team USA outshot Denmark, 33-8 ... The U.S. went 2-7 on the power play while Denmark went 0-5 ... For the full U.S. National Under-18 Team roster, click here ... For complete tournament information, including how to purchase tickets to games, visit GrandForks2016.com ... NHL Network will televise all U.S. games in the 2016 IIHF U18 Men's World Championship. A final broadcast schedule will be released in the next week ... FASTHockey.com will stream live all games of the 2016 IIHF U18 Men's World Championship (geo-blocked where restricted by broadcast agreements).