Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass.) scored twice and Sean Dhooghe (Aurora, Ill.) added a goal and an assist to help the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team defeat Sweden, 5-1, here today in its final preliminary round game of the 2017 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship.
With the victory, the U.S. finished atop the Group B standings with a perfect 4-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and 12 points. The U.S. will next play in a quarterfinals matchup on Thursday against Switzerland at 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. ET) at ZS Spisska Nova Ves. This game will be shown live on NHL Network.
“We’ve got a group of guys who are playing passionately,” said U.S. Head Coach John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wisc.). “Sometimes that comes out in the wrong way, but we have been successful because our [locker] room is really dedicated and wants to win.”
The U.S. opened the scoring at the 8:40 of the first period when Dhooghe backhanded a rebound attempt past Sweden goaltender Adam Ahman. Michael Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) and Logan Cockerill (Brighton, Mich.) picked up assists after firing the initial shots on net.
Following a late period penalty kill, the U.S. doubled its lead when Wahlstrom picked up his own rebound and banked a sharp-angle shot off Ahman from behind the Sweden goal line. Grant Mismash (Edina, Minn.) and Max Gildon (Plano, Texas) earned assists on the play. The U.S. took the two-goal advantage into the first intermission.
After being dragged down on a breakaway to open the second period, Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y.) capitalized on a penalty shot with a five-hole wrist shot to make it 3-0 just 2:40 into the second period.
The U.S. successfully killed off three minor penalties in the middle stanza before Sweden capitalized on its fourth power play of the period in the final minute to bring the score to 3-1 to conclude the second frame.
The U.S. regained a three-goal lead when Ryan Poehling (Lakeville, Minn.) scored a short-handed goal midway through the third period.
Wahlstrom scored his second goal of the game on the power play with under 2:00 to play in regulation when he fired a wrist shot past Ahman. Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) earned an assist on the play after dishing a cross-ice pass to Wahlstrom.
U.S. goaltender Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Mich.) made 35 saves on 36 shots to earn his fourth victory of the tournament.
Sweden outshot the U.S. 36-29 … Team USA went 1-4 on the power play while Sweden went 1-7 … Nate Knoepke (Farmington, Minn.) recorded a +3 plus-minus rating … Dylan St. Cyr was honored as the U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA improved its all-time record against Sweden to 12-1-0-2-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) … The U.S. earned its 60th preliminary round win all-time and now holds a record of 60-0-1-15-1 all-time in preliminary round games ... For complete tournament information, visit the IIHF website. Team USA News, interviews, highlights and more can be found on the Team USA website ... Follow @USAHockey on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament. Scores will be designated with the #U18Worlds tag ... For additional coverage, visit the USA Hockey Facebook page and Instagram account.
|April 7||Exhibition vs. Belarus||W, 5-2||Hodonin, Czech Republic|
|April 10||Exhibition vs. Finland||W, 5-2||ZS Spisska Nova Ves|
|April 13||Belarus||W, 7-0||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 15||Russia||W, 5-4||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 17||Czech Republic||W, 5-2||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 18||Sweden||W, 5-1||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|W, 4-2||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|W, 4-3 OT||ZS Poprad||NHL Network|
|April 23||Finland • Gold Medal Game||W, 4-2||ZS Poprad||NHL Network|