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Under-17 Team Topples Russia in World U17 Challenge Opener

12/29/2013, 4:15pm EST
By USA Hockey

PORT HAWKESBURY, Nova Scotia - Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) registered three assists, and nine additional U.S. skaters picked up at least one point, as the U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team toppled Russia, 5-1, here today at the Civic Centre.

"This was a great start for our team and something positive to build from," said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team. "Russia is a big rival and to get a win over them to open the tournament is huge. But it's right back to work on our next opponent."

Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) opened scoring at 12:57 of the first period. Receiving a pass from Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) while behind the net, Warren drove hard to the front of Ilya Samsonov's crease and forced a wrap-around shot. Samsonov made the initial save, but Roslovic jammed the rebound home for the tally.

Team USA appeared to have gained a two-goal lead when Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) swatted the puck into the net, but the goal was waved off on a high-stick call. Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.) doubled the U.S. lead with just 1:41 remaining in the period. Skating in a four-on-three disadvantage, Hanifin began a breakout with Warren and Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich.). Warren and Werenski traded passes before Warren teed up a one-timer on Samsonov. After the initial shot was blocked by the Russian netminder, a trailing Hanifin lit the lamp with a rebound tally.

The U.S. pushed it's lead to three goals just 1:45 into the final frame when Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) lifted a puck into the top corner of the net after a carom off the post. Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) and Warren picked up assists on the play. Russia pulled within two goals at the 4:40 mark, but Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) restaked a three-goal cushion for the United States at 11:37. Both goals were scored on the power play. Floodstrand capped the scoring at 16:26, taking a Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) feed and beating Samsonov for his second point of the contest. Roslovic also earned a helper on the score.

Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) stopped 17 shots for Team USA in the win, while Samsonov made 55 saves for Russia.

All games of the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (excluding the title game) will be streamed live, and also available on-demand, at FASTHockey.com.

The U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team will continue tournament play tomorrow, Dec. 30, against Germany. Puck drop is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST in North Sydney, Nova Scotia at the Emera Centre Northside.

Notes

  • Colin White was named Team USA's player of the game.
  • Team USA outshot Russia, 60-18.
  • Team USA went 1-6 on the power play, while Russia went 1-9.
  • Noah Hanifin wore the "C" as team captain in the game today versus Russia. Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Zach Werenski served as assistant captains.
  • Team USA claimed third place in last year's tournament after back-to-back second place finishes (2011, 2012). The U.S. won the tournament in 2010 and has now placed in the top three for seven consecutive years (2006, 2008-13). No tournament was held in 2007.
  • The U.S. enters the tournament having captured first place three times (2001-02, 2010) and second place four times (1999, 2008, 2011-12).
  • All 22 players on the roster come from the U.S. National Under-17 Team that is part of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program based in Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • The 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge includes two pools of five teams. Pool A consists of teams from the Czech Republic, Pacific, Quebec, Sweden and West. Pool B consists of teams from Atlantic, Germany, Ontario, Russia and the United States.
  • Follow @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament. Scores will be designated with #WU17.
  • For additional coverage, visit the NTDP Facebook page and follow @USANTDP on Twitter.
  • The U.S. National Under-17 Team trains with The Hockey IntelliGym, a revolutionary software program that trains hockey sense. To learn more, visit USAHockeyIntelliGym.com.

Best Players of the Game

Team USA
Colin White (1 goal)

Russia
Ilya Samsonov (55 saves)

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