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USA Downs Denmark for Second Straight Shutout at U18 Worlds

04/20/2014, 11:45am EDT
By USA Hockey

Photos by Richard Wolowicz (HHOF-IIHF Images).

LAPPEENRANTA, Finland - Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass./2-1) and Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y./1-2) recorded three points each, and Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) registered Team USA's second-straight shutout as the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team downed Denmark, 7-0, here tonight at Lappeenranta Arena. With the win Team USA improves to 2-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in preliminary round action at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's Under-18 World Championship.

Team USA opened the scoring midway through the first frame. After killing a Denmark power play, Eichel skated toward the right side of the crease sending an attempted pass off of the goaltender's pad. Milano buried the rebound to give the United States its first lead.

Eichel was awarded a penalty shot at the 7:55 mark of the second stanza, but was denied by Denmark's Mathias Seldrup. Team USA doubled its lead off the stick of Jared Fiegl (Parker, Colo.) at 11:47. Fiegl took a pass from Joe Wegwerth (Brewster, N.Y.) and ripped a shot that rode up Seldrup's stick, hit the netting under the crossbar and bounced back out of the net. Play resumed before video replay confirmed that it was a good goal. Eichel extended the U.S. lead to three goals at 16:34, chipping the puck up and over Seldrup's pads after a hard drive to the net from the left half-boards. Milano and Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn.) registered helpers on the play.

Glover pushed the U.S. lead to four goals just over two minutes into the final frame. Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.) worked the puck around to Milano in the attacking zone before finding Glover standing inside the blue line. Glover launched a shot that found its way through traffic for the tally. Three minutes later, Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) lit the lamp for Team USA, connecting with Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) to take a 5-0 lead. Eichel tallied his second of the game at 12:49, sending a backhand shot past Seldrup. Sixteen seconds later, Hitchcock found Kyle Connor (Shelby Township, Mich.) with a cross-ice pass, allowing Connor to hit the wide-open net. Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.) also assisted on the play and the United States won handily, 7-0.

Minney stopped all nine shots he saw to pick up the shut out for Team USA, while Seldrup turned aside 52 attempts for Denmark in the loss.

The U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team's final preliminary round game will come against host country Finland on Tuesday (April 22). Puck drop is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. EDT at Lappeenranta Arena.

Notes

  • Team USA outshot Denmark, 59-8. The eight shots for Denmark are tied for the second least in tournament history. Germany has the least amount in history, mustering just six shots in a game on April 15, 1999, against the United States. Denmark also tied the record for fewest shots in a period with zero. Belarus (2nd period, April 15, 2004 vs. Finland) and Slovakia (3rd period, April 17, 2007 vs. Finland) share that futility mark.
  • Jared Fiegl was named Team USA's best player, while Denmark's best player was announced as Anders Krogsgaard.
  • The U.S. has scored the first goal in each of its three tournament games.
  • Sonny Milano has at least one point in each of his first three tournament games, including two goals and three assists. He currently leads all skaters in the U18 World Championship in points. Factoring in the pre-tournament game versus Germany, the forward has eight points (4-4) in four games.
  • Kyle Connor holds a three-game scoring streak, netting one goal in each of Team USA's preliminary-round games. He now shares the tournament lead in goals scored. The Youngstown Phantoms product also scored in the pre-tournament contest against Germany.
  • Jack Dougherty has one point in each preliminary-round contest for Team USA. The blueliner has one goal and two assists during the streak.
  • Brandon Fortunato is on a four-game assist streak, including a helper he earned in the pre-tournament game versus Germany.
  • The next opponent for the U.S. is Finland, who is idle today. The Finns are the only undefeated team in Group B sporting an unblemished 2-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. Finland has outscored their opponents 8-2 heading into a game with the Czech Republic on Monday (April 21).
  • The U.S. enters the tournament having captured a record 10-consecutive medals, including back-to-back golds in 2005-06 and four-straight gold medals from 2009-12; three silver medals (2004, 2007, 2013); and one bronze medal (2008).
  • Team USA's seven gold medals are the most of any country in IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship history. The event began in 1999. Team USA earned its first gold medal in 2002.
  • The U.S. will play in Group B alongside the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland and Switzerland. Group A consists of Canada, Germany, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden.
  • Follow @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament. Scores will be designated with the #U18Worlds tag.
  • For additional coverage, visit the NTDP Facebook page and follow @USANTDP on Twitter.

Date Opponent Results
April 14 Germany* W, 9-1
April 17 Switzerland L, 2-4
April 19 Czech Republic W, 3-0
April 20 Denmark W, 7-0
April 22 Finland W, 4-3
April 24 Slovakia - Quarterfinals W, 6-2
April 26 Sweden - Semifinals W, 4-1
April 27 Czech Republic - Gold Medal W, 5-2

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