GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) recorded three points (1-2) and Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) stopped all 15 shots he faced as the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team shut out the Czech Republic, 8-0, here tonight in quarterfinal action at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Team USA will next face Finland in the semifinal round on Saturday (April 23).
“We stuck with what we wanted to do, which was to keep shooting, and we didn’t lose any confidence because we played our game,” said Danton Cole, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team. “The guys did a great job of sticking with it.”
After a scoreless first period, in which the U.S. outshot the Czech Republic, 13-2, Team USA broke the deadlock at the 4:50 mark of the middle frame. Logan Brown (Raleigh, N.C.) launched a shot that was denied, but Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn.) buried the rebound to stake the U.S. lead, 1-0. Off a faceoff, the United States struck a second time. Trent Frederic (St. Louis, Mo.) received the puck and maneuvered around a defender within the right circle toward the slot. Frederic wristed a shot between the pads of Josef Korenar for the score. Will Lockwood (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) assisted. A power-play marker pushed the U.S. advantage to three late in the period. Keller started the play and found Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) to the right of the net. Bellows tried to pull the puck around and got tied up, but the puck found the stick of Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn.) who knocked the puck home.
Team USA notched its fourth goal just 36 seconds into the third frame. A tic-tac-toe passing play led to a Keller one-time shot that hit the back of the net. Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) and Ryan Lindgren (Minneapolis, Minn.) earned helpers on the score. Graham McPhee (Bethesda, Md.) went top corner for the fifth U.S. goal at 3:40. Fox and J.D. Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) collected assists. Thirteen seconds later, Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) scored falling down as he swatted at a loose puck to the left of Korenar. Zach Walker (Boise, Idaho) and McPhee registered the helpers. Skating shorthanded midway through the frame, Keller intercepted the puck, made a move off the boards and streaked down the ice. Keller flicked a backhand pass to Anderson who deposited the puck into the net. Lindgren added a late tally when he stepped around a Czech defender and into the shooting lane for a shot that lit the lamp. Pastujov assisted.
The U.S. Men’s Under-18 National Team will next face Finland in the semifinals on Saturday (April 23). Puck drop is slated for 4:00 p.m. ET, and will air live on NHL Network.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Seven players found the scoresheet, including five multi-point efforts, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team defeated the eighth-ranked University of Michigan by a score of 6-3 Friday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Trevor Zegras (Bedford, N.Y.), Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) and Henry Thrun (Southborough, Mass.) led the way with three points apiece to pace Team USA’s early offensive barrage.
Marshall Warren (Laurel Hollow, N.Y.) opened the scoring 8 minutes, 52 seconds into the first period when he found the back of the net on a tic-tac-toe rush. Hughes followed just 3:27 later on a stuff shot to double the lead for the U18s.
After Michigan responded promptly to cut Team USA’s lead to one, Ryder Rolston (Birmingham, Mich.) restored the two-goal advantage at the 14:44 mark of the first with an elevated shot from the right circle. It marked Rolston’s first of two goals on the night.
The U18s went on to extend their lead to 6-3 via second-period goals from Zegras, Thrun and Rolston.
Team USA goaltender Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn.) staved off the Wolverines’ pressure in the third period and made all seven saves to preserve Team USA’s second victory over an NCAA opponent during the 2018 season.
Knight recoded 25 saves in total to earn his fifth win between the pipes.
A trio of NTDP alumni registered points for Michigan, as well. Josh Norris collected a short-handed goal, while brothers Nick (two assists) and Michael Pastujov (one assist) also figured into the point column.
The U18s are back in action at 2 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 13) when they welcome the sixth-ranked University of Minnesota at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. Tickets for all NTDP games can be purchased at the USA Hockey Arena box office, by calling 734-453-8400 or by visiting USAHockeyNTDP.com/tix.