LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - USA Blue raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first half and held on for a 5-2 victory against USA White to begin play at the 2014 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp. Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich./University of Michigan) and Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y./U.S. National Under-18 Team) each tallied a goal and an assist for USA Blue.
To open the scoring, Chase De Leo (La Mirada, Calif.) carried the puck into the offensive zone, feeding Michael Downing (Canton, Mich./University of Michigan) down the middle and then Milano tapped the puck in back door at 3:32. Less than a minute later, Motte made it 2-0 on a shot from the left wing. Steve Santini (Mahopac, N.Y./Boston College) made a stretch pass to Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./ U.S. National Under-18 Team), who fed Motte.
USA Blue upped its lead on the power play when John Hayden (Greenwich, Conn./Yale University) flipped a backhander past Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif./Boston College) from the lower right circle. Motte assisted on the play.
With just over three minutes left to play in the first half, Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill./ U.S. National Under-18 Team) made a play in the defensive end, sending Milano up ice, and then trailed on the rush. Milano dropped the puck back, and Belpedio put it in for the 4-0 lead.
USA White got back in the game with two goals in the opening four minutes of the second half. Defenseman Clint Lewis (Burnsville, Minn./Cornell University) beat Brandon Halverson (Traverse City, Mich.) low, making it 4-1. Just over two minutes later, Hudson Fasching (Burnsville, Minn./University of Minnesota) finished off a tic-tac-toe play on feeds from JT Compher (Northbrook, Ill./University of Michigan) and Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis./University of Denver).
Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y./ U.S. National Under-18 Team) sealed the win for USA Blue with 7:35 remaining on a rebound from a Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass./ U.S. National Under-18 Team) shot.
Each of the four goalies played a 25-minute half. Brendan Burke (Scottsdale, Ariz.) started the game for USA Blue and was the lone perfect goaltender, making 11 saves on 11 shots in the first half. Evan Cowley (Evergreen, Colo./University of Denver) stopped 14 of 15 shots for USA White during the second half.
International play starts tomorrow as USA White faces Sweden at 1 p.m. and USA Blue opposes Finland at 4 p.m. Live video and live stats will be available each game at USAHockey.com Also follow along and join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, using #NJEC.