MINSK, Belarus – Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) recorded four points (2-2) and Andy Iles (Ithaca, N.Y.) stopped all 34 shots he faced as the U.S. National Under-18 Team rolled past host Belarus, 11-0, here tonight in its second game at the 2010 Under-18 Six Nations Cup. With the win, Team USA improved to 2-0-0-0 in tournament play.
Moffatt put Team USA on the board at 12:12 of the opening stanza with an unassisted shorthanded goal. Just 1:09 later, Connor Brickley (Everett, Mass.) doubled the U.S. advantage after converting on a feed from Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.). With 42 seconds remaining in the first period, Brandon Saad (Gibsonia, Pa.) put the puck past goaltender Sergey Stepanov to give Team USA a 3-0 lead. Iles made 17 saves in the opening stanza to keep Belarus off the board.
Moffatt added his second tally 6:49 into the second frame after he took a pass from Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev.) and beat Stepanov to make it 4-0. Brickley also notched his second goal in the middle period with an unassisted marker at 13:57. With 5:23 remaining in the period, Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn.) blasted the puck past Stepanov to give the U.S. a six-goal cushion.
Team USA poured in five goals on 13 shots in the closing 20 minutes to pull further away. Grimaldi opened the scoring outburst just 42 seconds into the third stanza with an unassisted power-play goal. Nick Shore (Denver, Colo.) made it 8-0 at 9:05, then fed Zucker who scored just eight seconds later. Faulk added a power-play tally at 12:13 for his second marker of the night. Matthew Nieto (Long Beach, Calif.) added a goal with just 1:29 left to account for the 11-0 final.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team returns to action against Sweden Thursday at 3:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. EST) at Sports Palace Minsk.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)