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Game Day: USA vs. Ontario (Prelim Round)

01/02/2014, 8:00am EST
By USA Hockey

Today's Contest

The U.S. National Under-17 Team carries its unblemished 3-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record into a contest with Canada's Team Ontario. Team USA has nine points in the standings, while Ontario sits right behind with seven (2-0-1-0). A win over its opponent would secure the top seed in the semifinals for the U.S. The Americans last played on Dec. 31, 2013, defeating Atlantic, 9-1. Ontario fell to the Russians, 6-5, in a shootout on New Year's Day.

Team USA continued its offensive output in a win over Atlantic on Monday. Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) amassed five points (2-3) and Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) notched two goals to pace the attack. The Americans scored six unanswered goals before Atlantic spoiled the shutout bid for Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) early in the third period. The netminder finished with 20 saves in the victory.

Ontario and Russia skated to a thrilling ending on Tuesday night, with the Russians coming out on top in the shootout. After trading first frame goals, Russia exploded for three markers in the middle frame. Ontario started its comeback bid 30 seconds into the third period and scored three more times, with Russia managing just one goal, to send the game to overtime. No winner came from extra time and Russia claimed the extra point by winning the shootout. Artur Tyanulin and Denis Gurianov had one goal and one assist each for Russia, while Mitchell Marner tallied three goals for Ontario.

(Cover photo courtesy of Andy Devlin/Hockey Canada Images)

Match-Up History

Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.) played hero for Team USA in Victoriaville, Quebec on Dec. 29, 2012. The game served as the opener of preliminary round play at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Milano tied the game midway through the third and notched the only goal of the shootout, as the U.S. clipped Canada's Team Ontario, 6-5. Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) potted two goals, while Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) and Keegan Iverson (St. Louis Park, Minn.) had single tallies for the Americans.

Ontario and the United States also met in the 2008, 2010 and 2011 first-place contests. Ontario claimed the top spot in 2008 and 2011 and the U.S. earned first in 2010.

News and Notes

  • Colin White leads all skaters in the tournament with nine points (5-4). The forward's five goals rank second best. Luke Kirwan (Dewitt, N.Y.) is second in points with eight (4-4).
  • Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) is tops among defensemen with five points (0-5). The blueliner has five helpers, most in the tournament.
  • Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) and Luke Opilka are tied with the Czech's Ales Stezka in goals-against average. The netminders sport a tournament-best 1.00 GAA. Additionally the U.S. goalies are third (Lackey/.949) and fourth (Opilka/.941) in save percentage.
  • 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.

Yesterday's Results

Germany 3 Atlantic 4
Centre 200, Sydney, N.S.

Sweden 2 West 3
Emera Centre Northside, North Sydney, N.S.

Russia 6 Ontario 5 SO
Centre 200, Sydney, N.S.

Pacific 4 Czech Republic 1
Emera Centre Northside, North Sydney, N.S.

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Tag(s): U17 World Challenge