PRIEVIDZA, Slovakia - Brody Stevens (Ann Arbor, Mich.) netted two goals, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team skated past Slovakia, 5-2, here tonight at Prievidza Arena. With the win, Team USA improved to 2-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) at the 2013 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament.
"The team showed great character and resolve in tonight's win," said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "The goal in any international tournament we compete in is to win a title and we have that opportunity tomorrow against Russia. We'll be prepared for what will be a great matchup."
Stevens opened scoring for Team USA at 2:47 of the first frame. Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) and Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) collected assists on the play. The U.S. doubled its lead off the stick of Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) at 13:28. Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.) earned the lone assist on the tally.
Team USA extended its lead, 3-0, when Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa) found the back of the net at 7:59 of the second stanza. Dennis Yan (Troy, Mich.) recorded an assist on the play. Slovakia struck back at 11:39 to close the gap, 3-1, before being awarded a penalty shot after a Team USA infraction. Slovakia converted on its opportunity to inch closer, 3-2.
The U.S. grabbed back its two-goal advantage at 8:42 of the final frame off Stevens' second goal of the contest. Warren registered his second assist on the score. Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) capped the scoring for Team USA, potting a power-play goal at 13:10. Hanifin and Yan recorded helpers.
Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) kicked out 16 shots in the win for Team USA, while Adam Huska made 37 saves in the loss for Slovakia.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team concludes tournament play tomorrow (Nov. 10) versus Russia. Game time is set for 8:30 a.m. EST at Prievidza Arena.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)