LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - USA Blue pulled out a 2-1 victory against Finland today at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp. Finland tallied midway through the third period, but Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill./U.S. National Under-18 Team) and Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./U.S. National Under-18 Team) each scored in the final 5:03 to clinch the win for USA Blue.
Scoreless through two periods, Finland converted on an odd-man rush at 9:33 of the final frame.
At 14:57, a loose puck skipped out to the top of the right circle, where Belpedio was waiting and fired it high into the net.
USA Blue manufactured the game-winning goal with just over a minute to play. Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich./University of Michigan) won a battle in the left corner to get the puck to Larkin, who swooped around the net and banked the puck off the goaltender and in.
The USA Blue goaltending duo of Brendan Burke (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Brandon Halverson (Traverse City, Mich.) combined for a .947 save percentage. Halverson was perfect in the first 30:29 of the game, stopping all eight shots. Burke finished the game strong with 10 saves on 11 shots.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - USA White lost to Sweden, 4-3, in its first international game of the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp. Sweden tallied twice in the first period and boosted its lead to 4-0 late in the second stanza. USA White fought back with a last-second marker in the middle frame and two goals in the third period, but could not tie the game in the final moments.
Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz./U.S. National Under-17 Team) lit the lamp twice for USA White, while Anthony Louis (Winfield, Ill./Miami University) also scored.
Sweden grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the first period with goals at 7:46 and 10:28.
In the second stanza, Sweden capitalized on the power play at 14:06 and buried a shorthanded goal at 18:35 to make it 4-0.
Matthews put USA White on the board by banging in a rebound from the right side of the crease with 10 seconds left in the second period.
On the power play, Louis slipped a shot inside the near post from the lower right circle at 2:27 of the third period, narrowing the USA White deficit to 4-2. Nick Schmaltz (Verona, Wis./Green Bay Gamblers) drew the assist.
At 14:03, Matthews deflected a Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis./University of Denver) blast out of midair between the goalie’s legs. JT Compher (Northbrook, Ill./University of Michigan) picked up his second assist of the game on the power-play marker.
USA White pulled its netminder in the final minute, but could not net the equalizer.