DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. – Sonny Milano opened and closed the scoring and added an assist in between as the United States beat Slovakia 7-2 on Wednesday afternoon to secure top spot in Group B at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Americans will play in Thursday night’s semifinal in Victoriaville (7:30 p.m. ET) against either Russia or Pacific, depending on the outcome of Wednesday night’s preliminary round finale between Pacific and West in Group A.
Dylan Larkin, Alex Tuch, Ryan MacInnis, Ryan Hitchcock and Ryan Collins had the other goals for the U.S., which went undefeated in the preliminary round for the fourth time in the last five years.
Hitchcock, Tuch and MacInnis all had multiple-point performances – Hitchcock had a goal and two assists while Tuch and MacInnis, the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Al MacInnis, each scored once and added a helper.
Adrian Holesinsky and Adam Hascic scored for Slovakia, which finished the preliminary round without a victory and will play West in Thursday’s ninth-place game at the Pavillon Jean-Béliveau in Victoriaville.
The Slovaks are 2-18 in preliminary round play and 1-4 in placement games over their last five appearances at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Edwin Minney got his first start for the Americans since the tournament opener, making 10 saves, while Maximilian Pajpach was a busy man in the Slovak crease, finishing with 36 stops.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)