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U.S. Tops Czech Republic, 4-1, in U18 Worlds Semifinal

04/28/2018, 11:00am EDT
By USAHockey.com

Gold Medal Game matchup against Finland set for Sunday

CHELYABINSK, Russia – The line of Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y./USAH NTDP), Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla./USAH NTDP), and Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass./USAH NTDP) combined for two goals and five points in the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team’s 4-1 victory against the Czech Republic here today in the semifinal of the 2018 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship at Traktor Ice Rink. 

The U.S. will now face Finland in the Gold Medal Game tomorrow (April 29). Opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. local (10:30 a.m. ET) and can be seen live on NHL Network.

“Our game plan was to get pucks below the goal line and make them defend since they are so good in transition,” said Seth Appert (Cottage Grove, Minn./USAH NTDP), head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team. “I’m really proud of the way our guys resisted the urge to skate through them and to stick to our game plan by getting pucks deep and grinding it out in the offensive zone.”

Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla./USAH NTDP) gave the U.S. an early lead with his goal 3:37 into the opening period. After taking a pass from Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass./USAH NTDP) and maneuvering his way to the front of the net, Hughes fired a low wrist shot past Czech Republic goaltender Lukas Dostal. Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y.) also picked up an assist on the play.

Team USA killed off a late 5-on-3 power play and maintained a 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes.

Wahlstrom wristed the puck high past the blocker of Dostal 1:04 into the second stanza after receiving a feed from Farabee to extend the U.S. advantage.

The Czech Republic answered at 10:54 to cut the U.S. lead to 2-1.

Spencer Stastney (Mequon, Wis./USAH NTDP) regained the two-goal advantage for Team USA at 13:47 by wristing a shot from the point through heavy traffic.  K’Andre Miller (Minnetonka, Minn./USAH NTDP) and Jake Wise (Reading, Mass./USAH NTDP) earned assists on the play. The U.S took the two-goal lead into the second intermission.

Tyler Weiss (Raleigh, N.C.) deked through two defenders and wristed a shot past Dostal just 2:48 into the final period for what would prove to be the final goal of the contest. Stastney picked up an assist on the play.

U.S. goaltender Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn./USAH NTDP) stopped 16 of 17 shots to earn his third victory of the tournament.

NOTES: Oliver Wahlstrom was named the U.S. Player of the Game. Others to earn Player of the Game honors this tournament include Jack Hughes, Spencer Knight and Alex Turcotte (Island Lake, Ill./USAH NTDP) … Mattias Samuelsson (Voorhees, N.J./USAH NTDP), Joel Farabee and Oliver Wahlstrom were named the Three Best Players of the Tournament from Team USA …  The U.S. outshot the Czech Republic 47-17 … Team USA went scoreless on four power play attempts and shut down the Czech Republic on their two power play attempts … Team USA is now 13-1-1-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) against the Czech Republic all-time in the U18 Men’s World Championship … The U.S. is now 8-5-1-2 in semifinal matchups games  ... The U.S. enters the tournament having captured a record 14 consecutive medals, including gold medals in seven of the last nine years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017) ... Team USA has won 10 gold medals all-time, the most of any country in IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship history. The event began in 1999. Team USA earned its first gold medal in 2002 ... For complete tournament information, visit the IIHF website. Team USA News, interviews, highlights and more can be found on the Team USA website ... For complete tournament information, visit the IIHF 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.

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U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent Round Time (Local/ET)/Results Location Television
Sun., April 15 France Exhibition W, 15-0 Traktor Ice Rink
Chelyabinsk, Russia
NHL Network
Thurs., April 19 Canada Preliminary L, 4-6 Metallurg Ice Rink
Magnitogorsk, Russia
NHL Network
Fri., April 20 Switzerland Preliminary W, 8-5 Metallurg Ice Rink
Magnitogorsk, Russia
NHL Network
Sun., April 22 Sweden Preliminary L, 1-3 Metallurg Ice Rink
Magnitogorsk, Russia
NHL Network
Tues., April 24 Belarus Preliminary W, 8-0 Metallurg Ice Rink
Magnitogorsk, Russia
NHL Network
Thurs., April 26 Russia Quarterfinals W, 5-1 Traktor Ice Rink
Chelyabinsk, Russia
NHL Network
Sat., April 28 Czech Republic Semifinals W, 4-1 Traktor Ice Rink
Chelyabinsk, Russia
NHL Network
Sun., April 29 Finland Gold Medal Game L, 2-3 Traktor Ice Rink
Chelyabinsk, Russia
NHL Network

2018 U18 Men's Worlds News

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