April 18, 2017 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - U.S. National Team
SPISSKA NOVA VES, Slovakia - Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass.) scored twice and Sean Dhooghe (Aurora, Ill.) added a goal and an assist to help the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team defeat Sweden, 5-1, here today in its final preliminary round game of the 2017 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship.
With the victory, the U.S. finished the preliminary round atop Group B with a perfect 4-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and 12 points. The U.S. will next play in a quarterfinal game Thursday (April 20) with the opponent and location to be determined.
"We've got a group of guys who are playing passionately," said U.S. Head Coach John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.). "Sometimes that comes out in the wrong way, but we have been successful because our [locker] room is really dedicated and wants to win."
The U.S. opened the scoring at the 8:40 mark of the first period when Dhooghe backhanded a rebound attempt past Sweden goaltender Adam Ahman. Michael Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) and Logan Cockerill (Brighton, Mich.) picked up assists after firing the initial shots on net.
Following a late period penalty kill, the U.S. widened the lead to 2-0 when Wahlstrom picked up his own rebound and banked a sharp-angle shot off Ahman from behind the Sweden goal line. Grant Mismash (Edina, Minn.) and Max Gildon (Plano, Texas) earned assists on the play. The U.S. took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
After being dragged down on a breakaway to open the second period, Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y.) scored on a penalty shot with a five-hole wrist shot to make it 3-0 just 2:40 into the second period.
Sweden capitalized on its fourth power play of the period at the 19:01 mark to bring the score to 3-1 to conclude the second frame.
The U.S. regained a three-goal advantage when Ryan Poehling (Lakeville, Minn.) scored shorthanded midway through the third period.
Wahlstrom scored his second goal of the game on the power play with under 2:00 to play in regulation when he fired a wrist shot past Ahman. Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) earned an assist on the play.
U.S. goaltender Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Mich.) made 35 saves on 36 shots to earn his fourth victory of the tournament.
2017 U.S. IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship Schedule
Bronze/Gold Medal Games*
3:30 p.m. / 9:30 a.m.
7:30 p.m. / 1:30 p.m.
Notes: Full recap, highlights, interviews and box score can be found here ... Sweden outshot the U.S. 36-29 ... Team USA went 1-4 on the power play while Sweden went 1-7 ... Nate Knoepke (Farmington, Minn.) recorded a +3 plus-minus rating ... Dylan St. Cyr was honored as the U.S. Player of the Game ... Team USA improved its all-time record against Sweden to 12-1-0-2-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) ... The U.S. earned its 60th preliminary round win all-time and now holds a record of 60-0-1-15-1 all-time in preliminary round games ... For complete tournament information, visit the IIHF website. Team USA News, interviews, highlights and more can be found on the Team USA website ... Follow @USAHockey on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament. Scores will be designated with the #U18Worlds tag ... For additional coverage, visit the USA Hockey Facebook page and Instagram account.