PIESTANY, Slovakia - Evan Allen (Sterling Heights, Mich.) scored one goal and added three assists, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team toppled Slovakia, 8-3, in the 2012 Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament here this evening at the Piestany Ice Arena. With the victory, Team USA finished the tournament with a perfect 3-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and clinched the tournament title for the third straight year (2010-12)
"I'm very proud of how our guys played against tough competition," said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "It's an honor to represent USA Hockey in every tournament, but coming home with a title makes it extra special."
Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) opened the scoring at 6:05 of the first period. Connor Chatham (Belleville, Ill.) and Anthony Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) collected assists on the play. Kelleher's second goal of the game gave Team USA a two-goal lead. Allen and Keaton Thompson (Devils Lake, N.D.) registered assists on the power-play marker. Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich.) extended the U.S. advantage just 12 seconds later from passes by Allen and Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.). Dawson Cook (Cadillac, Mich.) capped the four-goal frame with a tally at 16:46 with assists credited to John Hayden (Greenwich, Conn.) and Michael McCarron (Macomb, Mich.).
Anthony Louis (Winfield, Ill.) notched a goal for the U.S. at 4:50 of the second period while Team USA held a two-man advantage. Allen and Butcher earned the helpers. Hudson Fasching (Burnsville, Minn.) made it 6-0 after his marker at 9:05 from J.T. Compher (Northbrook, Ill.). Louis connected with Copp for Team USA's seventh goal at 11:45 and the U.S. carried a 7-0 lead into the second intermission.
Slovakia tallied three consecutive goals in the final frame, but it would not prove to be enough. Allen netted the final goal of the game with just two seconds remaining to give the U.S. an 8-3 victory and secure the tournament title.
Hunter Miska (North Branch, Minn.) turned aside 24 shots in the win for Team USA, while the netminder duo of Richard Sabol and Patrik Romancik made 27 combined saves in the loss for Slovakia.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)