PRIEVIDZA, Slovakia - Luke Kirwan (Dewitt, N.Y.) scored one goal and added four assists, Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) registered two goals and two assists and Dennis Yan (Troy, Mich.) potted a goal and two assists, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team downed Switzerland, 8-2, here this evening at Prievidza Arena.
"Tonight was a good first effort and we're happy to get the win against a tough Switzerland squad," said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "Moving forward, we'll have to focus on playing a more disciplined, well-rounded game."
White notched the first two goals of the game at 1:42 and 6:12 of the opening frame. Kirwan and Casey Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass.) assisted on the first tally, while Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) and Kirwan chipped in on the second score. Bracco put the U.S. up, 3-0, at 8:05, combining with Kirwan and Caleb Jones (Frisco, Texas). Switzerland struck while on a two-man advantage with eight seconds left in the period, but Team USA held the 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
Team USA registered four goals in the second stanza to distance itself from Switzerland. Kirwan scored his first goal and registered his third point of the night at 7:43. White picked up his third point with an assist on the play. Yan tallied his first point with a goal just 27 seconds later, putting the U.S. up, 5-1. Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) earned a helper on Yan's goal. The Swiss answered with another five-on-three goal at 12:38, but Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) hooked up with Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) and Yan at 16:10 to restake the four-goal lead for the U.S. Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) found the back of the net two minutes later to extend Team USA's lead, 7-2. Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Yan were credited with assists on the seventh goal.
McAvoy scored the only goal of the final frame, putting the U.S. ahead, 8-2, at 2:40, with White and Kirwan again factoring in on the play.
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) stopped 13 shots in the win for Team USA, while Joren Van Pottelberghe turned aside 34 shots for Switzerland in the loss.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team continues tournament play tomorrow (Nov. 9), versus Slovakia. The game will be held at Prievidza Arena at 11 a.m. EST.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)