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Team USA Tops Slovakia 4-2 in Pre-Tournament Contest

By, 08/13/18, 12:30PM EDT


Samoskevich scores two, including game-winner, in final pre-tournament game

PIESTANY, Slovakia — The U.S. Under-17 Men's Select Team defeated Slovakia, 4-2, today in its second pre-tournament contest prior to the 2018 Five Nations Tournament.

After scoring a goal and adding an assist in yesterday's contest, Mackie Samoskevich (Sandy Hook, Conn.) picked up where he left off, scoring two goals, including the game-winner.

"I thought we saved our best for last. I thought we got better each period," said U.S. head coach Mark Dennehy (Andover, Mass.). 

"When you go into the third tied and the game is in the balance, it's a good position for us to be in so we know how to respond. Along those lines, I was really happy with how the players responded."

Samoskevich got the U.S. rolling at 7:54 of the first period, taking a pass from Cross Hanas (Highland Village, Texas) and scoring shorthanded. Nathan Schweitzer (Champlin, Minn.), who recorded three assists in yesterday's contest, added a secondary assist on the goal.

Gaining momentum from the shorthanded tally, the U.S. quickly scored again at 10:08 of the first stanza, with Ben Schoen (Maumee, Ohio) stuffing home a rebound off a shot from Christian Jimenez (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.).

After Slovakia scored late in the first and midway through the second period, the U.S. entered the third period tied at two. 

Just 39 seconds after Team USA killed off a slashing penalty, Samoskevich scored his second goal of the game to put Team USA up 3-2 at 10:45 of the third period.

Tanner Dickinson (Perrysburg, Ohio) scored again for the U.S. 18 seconds later, beating the goaltender with a wrist shot over the blocker to make it 4-2. 

Team USA's goaltender tandem split time once again today, with Gavin Fitzpatrick (Norwood, Mass.) getting the start and stopping 12 of 13 shots. Colin Purcell (Shaker Heights, Ohio) closed out the second half of the game for the U.S., making six saves on seven shots.

NOTES: The U.S. will play its first game of the tournament on Wednesday (Aug. 15) when it takes on the Czech Republic at 11:30 a.m. ET... Schoen added an assist on Samoskevich's third period goal, giving him two on the day... Schweitzer led the U.S. in pre-tournament exhibition scoring with four points, all assists, in two games.

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