PIESTANY, Slovakia – Emerson Etem (Long Beach, Calif.) netted two goals during regulation and Nick Shore (Denver, Colo.) scored twice during a shootout, but it was not enough for the U.S. National Under-17 Team as it fell to Switzerland, 6-5, here today its second game at the 2009 Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament.
Switzerland got on the board 2:41 into the opening frame with a goal from Samuel Keller. Frankie Simonelli (Bensenville, Ill.) answered back for Team USA with a power-play goal, which came after he picked up a loose puck on the right side and fired a wrist shot past netminder Remo Trub, low-stick side. Anthony Huguenin made it 2-1 in favor of the Swiss at 11:25. Just 1:13 later, Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) picked up the puck in the high slot and rifled it over the blocker of Trub to knot the score. Team USA took the lead just 33 seconds later when Chase Balisy (Fullerton, Calif.) poked home a rebound from the crease off of a shot from Moffatt. With just 37 seconds to play in the first period, Nino Niederreiter found the back of the net to make it 3-3.
In the second stanza, Switzerland regained the lead after Romain Loeffel's unassisted marker at 15:40. Team USA tied it up just 24 seconds later when Austin Czarnik (Washington, Mich.) stole the puck from a Swiss defender at the U.S. blue line, streaked into the offensive zone and sent a pass over to Emerson Etem (Long Beach, Calif.), who fought off a defender and put the puck past Trub for a shorthanded tally.
Gaeten Haas put Switzerland ahead once again 3:11 into the third period. Etem made it 5-5 just 2:05 later when he picked off a pass, broke in alone on Trub, faked to his forehand, deked to his backhand and slid it into the open net. Neither team could find the go-ahead goal in regulation, sending the game into overtime.
Just 1:12 into the extra frame, Team USA received a penalty and was forced to play shorthanded for two minutes. Despite being down a man, Team USA allowed nothing and forced the game to the shootout.
After none of the first eight shooters were able to score in the shootout, Inti Pestoni netted the first marker for Switzerland, meaning the U.S. had to score to stay alive. Shore, who was Team USA's second shooter earlier in the shootout, was selected and he converted to make it 1-1 in the shootout. Switzerland had another chance to eliminate the U.S. after Niederreiter put the puck past Will Yanakeff (Jerome, Mich.). Shore was chosen again to keep the U.S. alive and once again he came through, getting the puck by Trub. Loeffel, Switzerland's seventh shooter, made it 3-2 in the shootout. Shore was trotted out again to keep Team USA's hopes alive, but he was thwarted by Trub, giving Switzerland the 6-5 victory.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team will close out the 2009 Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament tomorrow against host Slovakia at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. ET). Team USA can win the tournament with a regulation victory over Slovakia.
NOTES: Emerson Etem (2-0--2) and Luke Moffatt (1-1--2) paced Team USA with two points ... Austin Czarnik's second-period assist gives him 11 in international play this season, which leads Team USA ... Matthew Nieto (Long Beach, Calif.) recorded an assist to extend his team-high point total to 16 (8-8) in international competition ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team has won the Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament four times (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004).
Scoring By Period
First Period - Scoring: 1, SUI, Keller (Huguenin, Loeffel), 2:41; 2, USA, Simonelli (Nieto, Mersch), 7:44 (pp); 3, SUI, Huguenin (Bartschi), 11:25; 4, USA, Moffatt (Faulk, Zucker), 12:38; 5, USA, Balisy (Moffatt), 13:11; 6, SUI, Niederreiter (Schappi), 19:23. Penalties: SUI, Huguenin (tripping), 6:19; USA, Gravel (holding), 8:04; SUI, Rossi (high-sticking), 20:00.
Second Period - Scoring: 7, SUI, Loeffel (unassisted), 15:40 (5x3 pp); 8, USA, Etem (Czarnik), 16:04 (sh). Penalties: USA, Simonelli (delay of game), 8:39; USA, Tinordi (tripping), 13:55; USA, Merrill (cross-checking), 14:54; SUI, Mettler (holding), 8:44; SUI, Keller (tripping), 19:27.
Third Period - Scoring: 9, SUI, Haas (Berger, Mettler), 3:11 (pp); 10, USA, Etem (unassisted), 5:16. Penalties: USA, Czarnik (charging), 2:00.
Overtime Period - Scoring: None. Penalties: USA, Simonelli (tripping), 1:12.
GWS - Round 1: USA, Nieto (saved), SUI, Niederreiter (saved); USA, Shore (saved); SUI, Mottet (saved); USA, Etem (saved); SUI, Haas (saved); Round 2: SUI, Bartschi (saved); USA, Zucker (saved); Round 3: SUI, Pestoni (goal); USA, Shore (goal); Round 4: SUI, Niederreiter (goal); USA, Shore (goal); Round 5: SUI, Loeffel (goal); USA, Shore (saved).
Power Play: SUI 2-6; USA 1-4
Penalties: SUI 4-8; USA 6-12
Officials: Referees - Roman Rudy, Peter Loksik; Linesmen - Milan Novak, Peter Stano
Shots by Period
|SUI, Trub, 65:00||7-4||8-7||10-9||4-4||0-0||25-20|
|USA, Yanakeff, 65:00||9-6||8-7||12-11||4-4||1-0||34-28|
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)