FUSSEN, Germany - The U.S. Under-17 Select Team garnered goals from three different players as it topped Germany, 3-1, in its lone exhibition game in preparation for the 2009 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament here today. Team USA plays Slovakia in its first game on Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. EDT in Fussen, Germany.
"We were able to build on some very solid goaltending tonight," said Rick Bennett, assistant coach of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team. "Once the team is comfortable playing the same system, we'll be very competitive."
After two scoreless frames, Seth Swenson (Parker, Colo.) netted the game's first goal at 2:02 of the third period. Kevin Becker (Roseville, Minn.) carried the puck into the attacking zone and sent a pass through the defenseman's legs, where Swenson collected it and beat the German goaltender.
After Germany tied the game less than four minutes later, Becker picked up his second point on a power-play tally from Kenneth Gillespie (Fuquay Varina, N.C.) and Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio). Gillespie sent a cross-ice pass to Becker, who tapped it into the open net.
Team USA extended its lead to 3-1 when Alex Gacek (Dracut, Mass.) knocked in Alex Racino's (Merrill, Wis.) rebound out of the air at 14:01. Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.) also picked up an assist on the play.
Both U.S. netminders Brendan Jensen (El Granada, Calif.) and Jay Williams (McLean, Va.) saw action in the game. Jensen turned aside all nine shots he faced in the start, and Williams recorded 19 saves in the winning effort.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)