Saturday, December 29, 2012

Team USA Downs Pacific in 2013 World U17 Challenge Pre-Tournmanent Tilt

Press Release
DRUMMONDVILLE, Quebec – Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) netted two goals and added an assist, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team downed Canada's Team Pacific, 6-2, in a pre-tournament game at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge here tonight at Centre Marcel Dionne.

"We stayed consistent with what we wanted to do tonight," said Danton Cole, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "The guys did a lot of things right, it was a good start and we need to improve every game moving forward."

Pacific struck first on the power play at 4:34 of the opening frame. Team USA then found itself down two goals after Pacific knocked in the puck at 16:47. Team USA outshot Pacific, 14-5, in the period but could not solve netminder Payton Lee.

Team USA cut the Pacific lead in half at 5:16 of the second stanza off a Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn.) shot from inside the blue line. The power-play tally was assisted on by Nathan Billitier (Spencerport, N.Y.) and Ryan MacInnis (St. Louis, Mo.). Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.) next set-up Chris Wilkie (Omaha, Neb.) in front of the net for Team USA's second power-play goal at 10:11. Eichel collected the second assist on the play. Milano again worked the puck to the top of the goal crease, this time feeding Eichel for the score at 12:31. Eichel's tally, the third U.S. goal scored with the man advantage, gave the U.S. its first lead, 3-2. Ryan Bliss (Bedford, N.H.) also assisted on the marker. Austin Poganski (St. Cloud, Minn.) extended the lead for Team USA at 13:45. Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) and Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) registered assists on the play. Eichel broke away to score the fifth U.S. goal of the period, shorthanded, with a backhand shot at 16:19.

Wilkie added another special teams goal at 8:18 of the final frame and the U.S. skated away with a 6-2 victory. Louis Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.) and Bliss collected helpers on the score.

Edwin Minney (WInd Gap, Pa.) and Chris Birdsall (Glen Rock, N.J.) combined to stop 15 shots in the win for Team USA, while Lee and Jordan Papirny turned aside 30 saves in the loss for Pacific.

 (Nathan can be reached at

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