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U.S. National Under-17 Team Falls to Chicago, 5-1, in USHL Opener

October 2, 2009 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - U.S. National Team News Release

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Tyler Biggs (Cincinnati, Ohio) netted a goal as the U.S. National Under-17 Team fell to the Chicago Steel, 5-1, here tonight in its United States Hockey League regular-season opener.

The Steel jumped out to a three-goal advantage in the first period. Patrick Raley kicked off the scoring when his shot from the middle point found the back of the net at 11:02. Mark Anthoine made it 2-0 with a power-play goal after he knocked home Andrei Kuchin's rebound from the doorstep just 2:16 later. Theo DiPauli put a backhanded shot past U.S. netminder Matt McNeely (Burnsville, Minn.) from point-blank range at 15:13 to give the Steel its three-goal lead.

With 5:55 left to play in the second stanza, Biggs put Team USA on the board after he took a pass from Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.), skated into the Chicago zone and wired a wrist shot past the outstretched glove of netminder Nick Pisellini to make it 3-1.

Team USA poured 12 shots on goal in the final frame, but was unable to solve Pisellini again. Chicago got an empty-net goal from Greg Wolfe with just 41 seconds to play and Mac Olsen scored with just six seconds remaining in regulation to ice the 5-1 win.

McNeely made 29 saves on the night.

The U.S. National Under-17 Team returns to action Saturday against the Steel at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, Ill., at 7:35 p.m. CDT in the finale of the home-and-home series.

NOTES: Cole Bardreau (Fairport, N.Y.) is Team USA's captain, while Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) and Travis Boyd (Hopkins, Minn.) are serving as alternate captains ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team will play 34 games during the USHL regular season and the U.S. National Under-18 Team will play 26 games. The two squads will count jointly as one team in the USHL East Division standings.

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