U.S. National Under-18 Team Falls to Sweden, 5-4April 16, 2008 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - U.S. National Team
"Tonight was a very competitive and hard-fought game," said John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. "Although the result was not in our favor, we have a game against Finland on Friday and now we will shift our focus towards preparing for that game."
Both teams tallied one goal in the opening frame, but Mattias Tedenby put Sweden ahead 1-0 with a 5-on-3 power-play marker at the 9:06 mark. Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn.) tied the score up at one apiece with 39 seconds left in the frame, thanks to an assist from Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.). Bourque made a pass from the right point to Schroeder, who was at the top of the left circle. The alternate captain then placed a wrist shot past Swedish goaltender Jacob Markstrom on the stick side.
Team USA pulled ahead for the first time of the evening when Colin Moore (Medfield, Mass.) netted his second goal of the tournament, unassisted, at 3:26 of the middle period. Moore released a shot from the right circle that ended up high inside the net. Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) spotted the United States a two-goal advantage at the 14:29 mark of the frame when he compiled his team-leading fourth goal of the tournament. Aaron Ness (Roseau, Minn.) and Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) each doled out assists on the play. Cannata dished the puck to Ness back in the Team USA zone and Ness skated the puck across the ice on the right wing, before darting to the net to put a shot on Markstrom. Ness' attempt forced Markstrom to give up a rebound that Morin quickly buried from the slot.
Tedemby put in a rebound of his own to draw the Swedes within one goal just over a minute later. Sweden tied it up at 3-3 at the 19:10 mark of the session, with a man advantage, when Erik Karlsson wristed a shot from the left point that went through traffic and into the net.
The United States jumped ahead once more as David Wohlberg (South Lyon, Mich.) utilized a strong individual effort to file his second tally of the tournament. After Ness fired a pass across the neutral zone to Wohlberg near Sweden's blue line, Wohlberg evaded several defenders and eventually put a wrist shot from the slot inside the left post.
Team USA had a chance to regain the lead again with 11:24 elapsed in the final period, as Dennis Bozic was whistled for obstructing Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) during a partial breakaway. The referees awarded Kristo a penalty shot, but his attempt rang off the crossbar, and the score remained 4-4.
Bozic provided the equalizer for Sweden as a result of a power-play goal at 10:10 of the third stanza. Overtime seemed imminent until Andrew Petersson registered the game-winner in the waning seconds of regulation. The Swedes took advantage of a Team USA turnover in the neutral zone and Tedneby directed a pass from the left wing to Petersson in front of the net. From there, Petersson slipped a low shot through Cannata's legs.
Hynes called a timeout after Sweden's fifth goal, but Team USA was unable to score again.
Cannata posted 24 saves for the Americans, while Markstrom turned in 21 stops for the Swedes.
After a day off tomorrow, the U.S. National Under-18 Team closes preliminary-round competition Friday (April 18) against Finland at Kazan Arena. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. local time (11 a.m. EDT).
Notes: Philip McRae and Jeremy Morin are tied for the team lead with five points in the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. Morin is the squad's top goal scorer with four... Aaron Ness and David Warsofsky (Marshfield, Mass.) are pacing Team USA's defensive corps with three points ... Sweden (nine points) is alone on top of Pool B, while the United States (six points), Finland (three points) and Switzerland (three points) are battling for the second and thrid spots in the bracket ... Russia (nine points), Canada (six points) and Slovakia (four points) are the top three teams in Pool A ... All U.S. games in the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship will be audiocast live at USAHockey.com ... The 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship features the best athletes under the age of 18 with participating teams including the United States, Belarus, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland ... Team USA won the silver medal at the 2007 IIHF World Under-18 Championship and won the gold medal at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship in both 2005 and 2006 to mark the first time in U.S. hockey history that a team has earned back-to-back gold medals at an IIHF event.
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