NYKOPING, Sweden – David Valek (Orem, Utah) netted two goals and Adam Murray
(Anchorage, Alaska) made 40 saves as the U.S. National Under-18 Team defeated Russia, 5-3, here today to capture its third straight first-place finish at the 2009 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament. Team USA finished with a perfect 4-0-0-0 record.
After a scoreless first period, Team USA got on the board just 20 seconds into the second stanza after Valek converted on a feed from Nick Mattson (Chanhassen, Minn.). Drew Shore (Denver, Colo.) added a power-play tally to double the U.S. lead at 8:03. Kenny Ryan (Franklin Village, Mich.) followed that up with a shorthanded marker at 10:01 to make it 3-0. With just 31 seconds remaining in the period, Russia's Semen Valuyskiy cut the deficit to two goals. Murray turned aside 18 shots in the middle frame.
Russia drew within one after Kirill Kabanov's shorthanded goal 8:26 into the final stanza. Just 1:40 later, Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) took a feed from Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.) and put the puck past goaltender Igor Bobkov for a power-play goal. Russia answered back 1:24 later to make it 4-3. With 4:02 remaining in regulation, Valek fired home an unassisted goal to give the U.S. the 5-3 advantage. Murray and Team USA held off the Russian attack to collect the win and tournament title.
NOTES: The U.S. National Under-18 Team is undefeated in international competition this season, with a 7-1-0-0 record (W-OTW-OTL-L). The squad also won the 2008 Men's Under-18 Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., in November ... David Valek (2-0--2), Drew Shore (1-1--2) and Nick Mattson (0-2--2) each recorded two points against Russia ... Valek led the U.S. with six points (2-4), while Kyle Palmieri (2-3--5) and Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe, Mich./2-3--5) each collected five points at the tournament ... Mattson led all defensemen with four points (0-4) at the Five Nations ... Adam Murray posted a 3-0-0-0 record, 2.67 goals-against average and .932 save percentage at the tournament ... Palmieri leads Team USA with nine points (5-4) against international opponents this season ... The U.S. National Under-18 Team won the Five Nations Tournament four previous times (1999, 2005, 2007, 2008) ... The 2009 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament is the final international event for Team USA prior to the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championship which runs from April 9-19 in Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn.
Scoring By Period
First Period - Scoring: None. Penalties: RUS, Solovye (interference), 1:00; RUS, Pivtsakin (roughing), 10:57; USA, McCarthy (roughing), 10:57; RUS, Kabanov (slashing), 17:22.
Second Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Valek (Mattson, Wrenn), :20; 2, USA, Shore (Mattson), 8:03 (pp); 3, USA, Ryan (Shore), 10:01 (sh); 4, RUS, Valuyskiy (Tarasenko), 19:29. Penalties: USA, Rempel (slashing), 4:45; USA, Lynch (tripping), 5:07; RUS, Kabanov (slashing), 6:20; USA, Valek (hooking), 8:58; USA, Palmieri (slashing), 11:48; RUS, Kabanov (slashing), 11:54; USA, Ryan (hooking), 5:33.
Third Period - Scoring: 5, RUS, Kabanov (Kitsin), 8:26 (sh); 6, USA, Palmieri (Bourque), 10:06 (pp); 7, RUS, Tarasenko (Chvanov, Kabanov), 11:30; 8, USA, Valek (unassisted), 15:58.Penalties: RUS, Kitsin (slashing), 5:59; RUS, Burmistrov (puck out of play), 7:45; RUS, Sergeev (slashing), 9:37; USA, Brown (misconduct), 14:43; USA, Team (too many players), 17:57.
Power Play: RUS 0-6; USA 2-7
Penalties: RUS 8-16; USA 8-24
Officials: Referees- T. Forsstrom; O. Lundqvist; Linesmen- Bjorn Wettegren, Fredrik Altberg Attendance: 377
Shots by Period
|RUS, Bobkov, 47:22||17-17||6-4||12-10||35-31|
|RUS, Reyzvikh, 11:57||x-x||3-2||x-x||3-2|
|USA, Murray, 60:00||8-8||19-18||16-14||43-40|
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)