LAPPEENRANTA, Finland - Jack Dougherty (Cottage Grove, Minn.) and Kyle Connor (Shelby Township, Mich.) each scored one goal, but the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team was edged by Switzerland, 4-2, here today at Lappeenranta Arena. The game served as the first test for Team USA at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's Under-18 World Championship.
Dougherty gave the U.S. an early lead at 5:13 of the opening frame with a power-play tally. Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.) glided through the slot and left a drop pass for Dougherty. The defenseman took a step and launched a slapshot that found the back of the net. Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y.) also assisted on the play. Switzerland answered at 11:55 with a goal that spent a lengthy time under review. Team USA regained the lead with under five minutes to play in the period when Connor controlled a rebound and wristed a shot past Swiss goaltender Gauthier Descloux. Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.) collected the lone helper.
After a scoreless second stanza, Switzerland knotted the game 46 seconds into the third period. With 3:30 remaining in the contest, the Swiss batted a rebound past Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio) to take the lead. Switzerland capped the comeback with an empty net goal 11 seconds before the final buzzer.
Nedeljkovic turned aside 16 shots in the loss for the U.S., while Descloux made 31 saves for Switzerland.
Team USA will return to action against the Czech Republic on Saturday (April 19). Game time is set for 8 a.m. EDT at Lappeenranta Arena. All U.S. tournament games will be streamed live on FASTHockey free of charge.