BALASHIKHA, Russia - Hunter Miska (North Branch, Minn.) stopped all 17 shots he faced and J.T. Compher (Northbrook, Ill.) notched one goal and collected two assists, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team defeated Russia, 5-0, to claim its third consecutive Under-17 Four Nations tournament title here today at Arena Balashikha. Team USA finished round-robin play with a 3-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OLT-L) record.
"All aspects of our game came together during this tournament," said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "We are excited to come home with this title and look forward to continuing our maturation process as a team."
Compher netted Team USA's first goal at 5:33 of the opening stanza. Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) doubled the U.S. lead at 14:44 when he netted his fourth goal of the tournament. With less than one minute remaining in the period, Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich.) notched his fourth goal of the tournament, putting the U.S. up by a score of 3-0. Compher collected his second point of the game with an assist.
Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.) tallied the lone goal in the middle frame with Compher earning the assist on the defenseman's goal. After two periods of play, Team USA carried a 4-0 advantage into the final twenty minutes.
Anthony Louis (Winfield, Ill.) scored midway through the final frame off passes from Kelleher and Connor Clifton (Madawan, N.J.) to seal the U.S. victory, 5-0. Miska backstopped the U.S. in the victory, stopping all 17 shots he faced, while the duo of Nikita Serebryakov and Vyacheslav Volkov combined to stop 32 shots in the loss for Russia.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team returns to United States Hockey League action on Tuesday (Nov. 22) against the Waterloo Black Hawks. Puck drop is schedule for 7:00 p.m. EST at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)