PIESTANY, Slovakia – Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio) stopped 35 shots and four different U.S. players scored goals to help the U.S. Under-18 Select Team defeat Russia, 4-2, at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament today.
"Game experience has gone a long way for us," said Bob Corkum, head coach of Team USA. "We've worked on special teams a lot and the guys understand what we're doing. We've been able to find success below the top of the circles and we're earning shots down low in the offensive zone. We had to refocus a little bit at the start of the third period, but the guys have bought in and played well in the third."
Nick Schmaltz (Verona, Wis.) and Joey Dudek (Auburn, N.H.) scored first-period power-play goals to help Team USA open a 2-0 lead. Schmaltz gathered a puck along the left wall and fired a low shot past Team Russia goaltender Sergej Korobov 11:15 into the game. Then, just 86 seconds later, Dudek picked up a loose puck and found the back of the net to double the U.S. lead.
After two Team Russia goals -- one midway through the second period and one early in the third -- Jack Dougherty (Cottage Grove, Minn.) and Joseph Snively (Harndon, Va.) responded with third-period tallies to put Team USA in front for good. Dougherty scored the third U.S. power-play goal of the contest when he put a hard shot on net from the point 6:19 into the final period. Snively finished the scoring with a goal three minutes later.
The U.S. Under-18 Select Team concludes pool play against Slovakia at 11:30 a.m. ET tomorrow.
NOTES: Alex Nedeljkovic was named U.S. Player of the Game ... Follow the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament on Twitter by following @USAHockeyScores and using #IvanHlinka ... The 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament features teams from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States ... Team USA has finished in the top three of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament 10 times since the tournament's inception in 1991, including a first-place finish in 2003. The U.S. has finished second seven times (1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2010) and third twice (1991, 1995) ... Team USA finished in seventh place last year ... The 22 players on the U.S. roster represent 10 different states. Minnesota leads the way with eight representitives, while Michigan has four and both Illinois and Colorado have two ... Bob Corkum (Salisbury, Mass.) serves as head coach and John Gruden (Virginia, Minn.), assistant coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, Matt Herr (Hackensack, N.J.) a regional manager of USA Hockey's American Development Model, and Derek Plante (Cloquet, Minn.), assistant coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth, serve as assistant coaches.
Scoring By Period 1 2 3 Total
USA 2 0 2 4
RUS 0 1 1 2
First Period -- Scoring: 1, USA, Schmaltz (Dudek), 11:15 (pp); 2, USA, Dudek (Schmaltz, Dougherty), 12:41 (pp). Penalties: USA, Poganski (elbowing), 0:29; USA, Snively (slashing), 3:37; USA, Dougherty (delay of game), 6:43; USA, Phelps (hooking), 8:54; RUS, Lauta (boarding), 10:30; RUS, Lazarev (high-sticking), 11:59; RUS, Cvetkov (roughing), 12:41; USA, Dougherty (roughing), 12:41; RUS, Boltanov (hooking), 16:45.
Second Period -- Scoring: 3, RUS, Sleptsov (Nikolisin), 10:44. Penalties: USA, Roseburg (tripping), 2:09; RUS, Boltanov (slashing), 5:39; USA, Wagner (slashing), 15:04; RUS, Lazarev (hooking), 15:10; USA, Nardella (tripping), 16:23; USA, Hayden (slashing), 19:18; RUS, Vovcenko (misconduct), 19:18.
Third Period -- Scoring: 4, RUS, Frazlejev (unassisted), 0:38 (pp); 5, USA, Dougherty (Schmaltz, Dudek), 6:19 (pp); 6, USA, Snively (Connor), 9:16. Penalties: RUS, Kodola (interference), 5:12; USA, Hayden (roughing), 19:22; RUS, Svecnikov (roughing), 19:22; RUS, Nasybulin (interference), 19:49.
Shots By Period 1 2 3 Total
USA 8 5 20 33
RUS 15 12 10 37
Goaltenders (SV/SH) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Nedeljkovic 60:00 15/15 11/12 9/10 35/37
RUS, Korobov 60:00 6/8 5/5 18/20 29/33
Power Play: USA, 3-7; RUS, 1-8
Penalties: USA, 10-20; RUS, 10-28
Tag(s): Hlinka Memorial Cup