TRNAVA, Slovakia – Three different U.S. players scored goals and goaltenders Kris Oldham (Anchorage, Alaska) and Nicholas Vilardo (Clarence, N.Y.) combined for 21 saves to help the U.S. Under-17 Select Team beat Slovakia, 3-1, in its lone pre-tournament game before the 2013 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.
"We had a very balanced offensive attack tonight," said head coach Pat Mikesch. "Both goalies played well in their first international action. We're looking forward to a good practice tomorrow to work on some of the areas we have yet to touch on."
The U.S. team opened the scoring 6:08 into the opening period on a Brent Gates (Grand Rapids, Mich.) goal, but Slovakia tied the score six minutes later.
After a scoreless second period that saw Team USA throw 23 shots on net, the U.S. squad was able to break through for a pair of third-period tallies. At 6:07 of the final period, Steven Ruggiero (Kings Park, N.Y.) gave Team USA the lead before Nolan Aibel (Brookville, N.Y.) finished the scoring with 33 seconds remaining in the game.
Aibel added an assist to finish with two points in the contest. Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) was the only other player to record a multi-point game (two assists).
The U.S. Under-17 Select Team will begin play in the 2013 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament against the Czech Republic on Wednesday (Aug. 14) at 11:30 a.m. ET.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)