U.S. Nat'l U-18 Team Falls to U. of Maine, 5-3

October 6, 2007 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - U.S. National Team News Release

ORONO, Maine -- Despite third period goals from Vinny Saponari (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Justin Florek (Marquette, Mich.), the U.S. National Under-18 Team fell to the University of Maine, 5-3, here tonight at Alfond Arena.

"I thought our effort was very good tonight," said John Hynes, head coach of Team USA. "It was an evenly matched game. I think two or three plays made the difference in the outcome."

Maine took the early lead when Keenan Thompson tapped a rebound past netminder Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) just 42 seconds into the opening period.

In the second stanza, Billy Ryan gave Maine a 2-0 advantage with a power-play goal at 9:44. Colin Moore (Medfield, Mass.) cut Team USA's deficit in half after his wraparound attempt beat goaltender Dave Wilson with 1:35 remaining in the period.

After Maine extended its lead, 3-1, early in the final frame, Saponari circled behind the Maine net and slipped the puck past Wilson at 10:59. Ryan notched his second power-play goal of the night after redirecting Josh Van Dyk's pass by Cannata at 14:10 to give Maine a 4-2 advantage. Florek tallied a power-play goal at 17:30 to get Team USA back within one. With Cannata pulled in favor of an extra attacker, Ryan notched his third goal of the game to account for the 5-3 final.

The U.S. National Under-18 Team returns to action next weekend when they travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., to face Colorado College on Friday (Oct. 12) at 7:37 p.m. MT and the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday (Oct. 13) at 7:05 p.m.

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