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Kristo's Goal Launches U.S. Nat'l Under-18 Team Past Alpena, 3-2

March 11, 2008 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) News Release

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Danny Kristo's (Eden Prairie, Minn.) goal at 9:51 of the third period catapulted the U.S. National Under-18 Team to a 3-2 victory over the Alpena IceDiggers at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube Tuesday night. Team USA goaltender Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) turned aside 26 of the 28 shots he saw, and notched his 12th win of the 2007-08 campaign.

"I thought we played with good energy and team camaraderie," said John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. "We are looking to get better in the next couple days before our big series in Texas this weekend."

The first goal of the evening came at the 4:46 mark of the opening period when Alpena forward Jon Puskar wristed a shot from the right circle past Cannata on the glove side. Isaac Viau provided the lone assist on the play, after he gained possession of the faceoff for the IceDiggers, and left the puck for Puskar.

Team USA responded with 1:40 left in the first stanza as Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn.) netted his 15th goal of the season off helpers from Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) and Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.). While skating into the Alpena zone, Morin delivered a pass to Palmieri at the bottom of the left circle, and Palmieri immediately sent the puck through the crease to the goal scorer. Schroeder easily tapped the puck into a partially open net on goaltender Nick Graves' glove side.

Alpena regained the lead at the 18:16 mark of the second frame, thanks to a goal off the stick of Viau. Mike DeGrazia took the initial shot from close range, and Viau was there to slip the rebound into the net.

David Warsofsky (Marshfield, Mass.) knotted the score at 2-2 for Team USA with his 10th marker of the year just 1:38 into the third period. The team captain unleashed a shot from the left point that handcuffed Graves, and slowly trickled into the net. Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.) and David Wohlberg (South Lyon, Mich.) each handed out assists on the goal.

Kristo provided the go-ahead score as a result of assistance from Robbie Czarnik (Washington, Mich.) and Palmieri. Kristo poked the puck by Graves to secure his team-best 16th goal of the season.

Alpena mounted one last rally in the final minute, as Graves left the net with 37 ticks left on the clock. Cannata stood tall for Team USA though, and helped preserve a one-goal triumph.

The U.S. National Under-18 Team (23-20-2-4) travels to Frisco, Texas, for a two-game set against the Texas Tornado at the Dr Pepper StarCenter this Friday (March 14) and Saturday (March 15). Both contests are slated to start at 7:30 p.m. CDT.

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North American Hockey League Stories from March 11, 2008

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