Saturday, October 31, 2009

Team USA wins exhinition

Press Release

MONTAGUE, P.E.I. - Shane Berschbach (Clawson, Mich./Indiana Ice) tallied two goals and an assist as the U.S. Junior Select Team downed Canada West, 5-2, in an exhibition game here tonight at Montague and Area Wellness Centre in Montague, P.E.I. The game marked Team USA's only exhibition contest as it prepares for the World Junior A Challenge Nov. 1-8 in Summerside, P.E.I.

"It was great for the team to get a game under its belt before we open the tournament," said Mark Carlson, head coach of the 2009 U.S. Junior Select Team. "We did some real nice things tonight and learned what we have to work on as we move forward."

The U.S. and Canada West traded goals in the first period, with Berschbach opening the scoring at 2:43. Matt Leitner (Los Alamitos, Calif./Fargo Force) sent a pass to David Gerths (Ankeny, Iowa/Lincoln Stars), who dumped the puck toward the net. Berschbach banged the puck past Canadian West goaltender Kirby Halcrow to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Canada West's Conner Jones responded with a tally at 5:43 before Jeff Costello's (Milwaukee, Wis./Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) power-play marker at 7:41 from Nic Dowd (Huntsville, Ala./Indiana Ice) and Beau Bennett (Gardena, Calif.) gave the U.S. a 2-1 advantage. Bennett's slap shot from the blue line was tipped by Dowd and then jammed into the net by Costello. Canada West's Kellen Jones tied the game, 2-2, with a power-play marker at 19:58.

In the second period, Dowd gave the U.S. a 3-2 lead when his shot from the slot beat Halcrow over his glove at 4:32. Gerths and Berschbach collected assists on the play.

John Parker (Green Brook, N.J./Indiana Ice) took passes from Chris Crane (West Chester, Ohio/Green Bay Gamblers) and Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md./Waterloo Black Hawks) down the right wing and fired a short-side shot past Halcrow to extend Team USA's lead, 4-2, at 9:18 of the final frame. Berschbach added his second tally of the game with an empty-net goal with 37 seconds remaining in the period to account for the 5-2 final.

U.S. netminder Will Yanakeff (Jerome, Mich./Sioux City Musketeers) turned aside 28 shots in the game.

Team USA faces Canada East in its first game of the World Junior A Challenge Sunday (Nov. 1) at 6 p.m. EST

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

No comments: