Six different United States players scored as Team USA earned a 6-2 victory in its pre-Five Nations Tournament exhibition game today against HC Vitkovice U-18 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
“It was a good first game for our boys,” said U.S. head coach Pat Ferschweiler (Rochester, Mich.). “We competed extremely hard and did a lot of positive things as a team. We also were able to identify some things that we need to work on, so it’s right back to work at practice tomorrow as we prepare for the tournament.”
Jeffrey Bertrand (Anchorage, Alaska) put home a rebound from Robert Griffin (Burlington, Mass.) at 7:40 to give the U.S. its first lead of the game. Dylan Wendt (Grand Haven, Mich.) then scored to double the U.S. advantage with 3:52 remaining in the frame. With just 1:07 left in the first stanza, Robert Mastrosimone (East Islip, N.Y.) knocked in a rebound to make it a 3-0 Team USA lead entering the first intermission.
Goaltender Ethan Haider (Maple Grove, Minn.) came up big for the U.S. 39 seconds into the second frame, stopping a Vitkovice penalty shot. Eleven minutes later, Arthur Kaliyev (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored from the left circle to put Team USA up 4-0. A mere 90 seconds later, Vitkovice got on the board. Then, Josh Groll (San Diego, Calif.) responded with a shorthanded goal right off the draw with 5:17 remaining in the middle period, increasing the U.S. lead to 5-1 heading into the final frame.
In the third, Josh Nodler (Oak Park, Mich.) made it 6-1 at 9:23 off a feed from Michael Koster (Chaska, Minn.) and Dylan Wendt (Grand Haven, Mich.). Vitkovice tallied a goal with 5:41 remaining in the final period, accounting for the 6-2 final.
Haider and Kyle Chauvette (New Boston, N.H.) split U.S. goaltending duties against Vitkovice.
Next up, Team USA will open Five Nations Tournament play Thursday against Switzerland at 3 p.m. local time/9 a.m. ET in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Follow the U.S. Under-17 Men’s Select Team every step of the way at TeamUSA.USAHockey.com.
|Mon., Aug. 21||HC Vitkovice U18 (ex.)||W, 6-2||Ostrava, Czech Republic|
|Thurs., Aug. 24||Switzerland||W, 8-1||Ostrava, Czech Republic|
|Fri., Aug. 25||Slovakia||W, 7-1||Ostrava, Czech Republic|
|Sat., Aug. 26||Germany||W, 6-0||Ostrava, Czech Republic|
|Sun., Aug. 27||Czech Republic||W, 5-3||Ostrava, Czech Republic|