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Under-17 Team Rallies, Falls Short in Shootout Loss to Russia at Five Nations Tournament

02/06/2013, 2:15pm EST
By USA Hockey

JARVENPAA, Finland - Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) turned aside 30 shots and Ryan MacInnis (St. Louis, Mo.) notched two goals, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team rallied, but fell short in a 4-3 shootout loss to Russia, at the 2013 Five Nations Tournament here today at Kellokoski Arena. Team USA earns a point in the tournament standings.

"I'm proud of how we responded to being down early in the game," said Danton Cole, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "Every point we earn in this tournament will be hard fought and we will need to improve each time we hit the ice to succeed."

Russia opened scoring just over one minute into the first frame. Team USA then found itself down two goals at 3:12, before MacInnis responded at 13:39 for the U.S. Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) and Nolan Stevens (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) registered assists on the play.

A marker at 3:40 of the second stanza put the Americans back down by two. Louis Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.) answered for Team USA with 1:05 left in the period. Hitchcock earned his second helper of the game, with Ryan Bliss (Bedford, N.H.) recording the secondary assist.

Down one goal in the late stages of the third frame, the U.S. pulled Minney in favor of the extra attacker. MacInnis capitalized on the strategic move and netted the game-tying goal with 21 seconds remaning. Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) had the lone assist. With the game knotted, 3-3, the teams headed to overtime.

After a scoreless extra frame, the contest would be decided by a shootout. Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.) tallied the only goal for the U.S. in the first round, but Russia countered with two goals to earn the victory.

Minney kicked out 30 of 33 shots in the shootout loss for Team USA, while Vadim Nikitin made 21 saves in the win for Russia.

The U.S. National Under-17 Team continues tournament play against Sweden on Friday, Feb. 8. Puck drop is scheduled for 12 p.m. EST at Jarvenpaa Arena.

NOTES: Ryan MacInnis was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... The U.S. finished 0-for-3 on the power play, while Russia went 0-for-2 ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team is competing in the Five Nations Tournament for the first time. In previous years, the Under-17 Team competed in the Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia. The U.S. claimed first place seven times, including the last three years (2010-12) and four straight from 2005-08 ... Follow @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates during the Five Nations Tournament. Scores will be designated with the #5nationsU17 tag ... The U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams train with The Hockey IntelliGym, a revolutionary new software program released on October 1, 2010 that trains hockey sense. To learn more, visit USAHockeyIntelliGym.com.

Players of the Game

U.S. National Under-17 Team
Ryan MacInnis, forward (2 goals)

Russia
Ivan Nikolishin, forward (2 assists)

Tag(s): U18 Five Nation