SYDNEY, Nova Scotia - Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) scored five points, including two goals, as the U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team downed the host team Atlantic, 9-1, here today at the Centre 200 in its third game of the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. With the win Team USA's record improves to a perfect 3-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L).
"I liked the way our team maintained focus in a very physical game that had its share of adversity," said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team. "We'll use the day off tomorrow to get ready for Ontario Thursday and hopefully more games to come."
Team USA opened the scoring for the third-straight game of the tournament 3:41 into the first period. White took a cross-ice pass from Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) in the right faceoff circle. His one-timer shot beat Atlantic goaltender Frederic Foulem before he could get into position. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) doubled the U.S. lead at 11:36, ripping a one-timer of his own into the net. Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) cycled the puck back to Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) in the left corner, and Warren fed Fischer as he moved along the half-boards. Fischer sent a quick pass to Matthews in the slot who fired the puck into the top-left corner.
Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) started a four-goal period for the U.S. three minutes into the second stanza. Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) fed Kunin with a pass across the slot and Kunin one-timed the puck into the open net. Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) pushed it to a 4-0 lead 2:02 later, swatting a bouncing rebound out of the air and off the back of Foulem as he skated behind the net. Luke Kirwan (Dewitt, N.Y.) and White added helpers on the play. It became a five-goal lead for the U.S. 39 seconds later on a shot from the point by Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa). Caleb Jones (Frisco, Texas) and White assisted on the marker. Kirwan notched a power-play goal at 14:30, with White collecting his third assist and Jones his second.
Atlantic scored a power-play goal to inch closer, but Bracco responded with Team USA's first short-handed tally of the tournament. Nicholas Boka (Plymouth, Mich.) picked up an assist, helping to complete the two-on-one odd man rush. White added his second of the night with 6:18 left in the game and Fischer added one more to 16:06 secure the 9-1 victory.
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) made 20 saves for Team USA in the win, while Foulem blocked 46 shots for Atlantic.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)