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USA Defeats Finland, 9-4, En Route to Hlinka Semifinal

08/13/2014, 9:30am MDT

BRECLAV, CZECH REPUBLIC—The U.S. Under-18 Select Team topped Finland, 9-4, en route to a semifinal bid in the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. Knotted at 3-3 in the second period, Team USA notched six of the next seven goals, including four in the final seven minutes of play. Thomas Novak (River Falls, Wis.) led the U.S. with two goals and two assists, while Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) tallied a hat trick. The win sets up a semifinal showdown with Canada Friday (Aug. 15) at 11:30 a.m. ET.

“Despite the final score, the game was very even,” said Derek Plante, head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Select Team. “Finland is a good team with excellent coaches. We want to play the same way in the upcoming games and continue to improve.”

Finland opened the scoring five minutes into the game.

At 16:55 of the period, the U.S. converted on the man-advantage for the equalizer when Novak beat the Finnish goaltender near post.

In the second stanza, the Finns again struck early to jump out to a 2-1 lead 

At 2:32, Terry netted his first goal of the game on a cross-crease pass from Novak, making it 2-2. Ten minutes later, while the Finns were on a power play, Karch Bachman (Wolcottville, Ind.) capitalized on a Finnish mishandle at the U.S. blue line for a shorthanded tally.

On the man-advantage, the Finns tied the game, 3-3, at 15:15.

Team USA took the lead for good when Brock Boeser (Burnsville, Minn.) skated up the left wing, took a shot and Robert Jackson (Alameda, Calif.) was there to tap the rebound into a nearly empty net at 16:25.

After killing a penalty to start the third period, Novak followed up his own shot to make it 5-3.

Finland then climbed within a goal, capitalizing on a five-on-three situation at 4:30.

In the final seven minutes, Team USA scored four straight goals to secure a spot in the semifinal round of competition. At 15:39 Dennis Yan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) left the penalty box, rushed up ice and deflected a Bachman shot for a goal. Fifteen seconds later, Jackson led an up-ice rush on the right wing, made a cross-ice pass and Terry put the puck into another near empty net for his second goal of the game.

The U.S. scored another set of back-to-back goals, beginning with Boeser’s slap shot that snuck under the cross bar, making it 8-4. Terry completed his hat trick, firing the puck in the same spot as Boeser, for the ninth U.S. goal.

The U.S. Under-18 Select Team will travel to Piestany, Slovakia, to take on familiar foe Canada in the semifinals Friday (Aug. 15) at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Stay tuned to for complete Team USA Hlinka Cup coverage. Also, follow @USAHockeyScores for in-game updates. Play-by-play action is available at

Notes: Novak led all scorers with four points (2-2) today … Terry notched three points (3-0) … Novak (2-5), Boeser (5-1), Yan (3-3), Jackson (2-2) and Gabriele (1-3) are all in the top 10 for tournament scoring … Novak (2-5) and Boeser (5-1) are first and second, respectively.

USA vs. Finland Box Score

First PeriodScoring: 1, FIN, Tammela (Aho), 5:16; 1, USA, Novak (Young, Gabriele), 16:55 (PP). Penalties: USA, Olson (high-sticking), 0:14; FIN, Juolevi (slashing), 15:21; USA, Olson (tripping), 18:22.

Second PeriodScoring: 2, FIN, Palmu (unassisted), 0:49; 2, USA, Terry (Novak, Jackson), 2:32; 3, USA, Bachman (unassisted), 13:45 (SH); 3, FIN, Saarijarvi (Palmu, Nattinen), 15:15 (PP); 4, USA, Jackson (Boeser), 16:25. Penalties: USA, Yan (high-sticking), 4:37; FIN, Ruotsalainen (slashing), 7:14; USA, Wilkie (cross-checking), 12:51; USA, Bachman (10-minute misconduct), 13:45; USA, Cecconi (interference), 14:44; FIN, Tavernier (roughing), 15:41; USA, Boeser (roughing), 15:41; FIN, Tammela (slashing), 17:50; USA, Novak (charging), 19:55.

Third PeriodScoring: 5, USA, Novak (unassisted), 2:19; 4, FIN, Aho (Vainio), 4:30 (PP), 6, USA, Yan (Bachman), 13:39; 7, USA, Terry (Jackson, Gabriele), 13:54; 8, USA, Boeser (Foley), 16:47; 9, USA, Terry (Novak), 17:54. Penalties: USA, Filipe (slashing), 2:32; USA, Terry (cross-checking), 2:32; FIN, Mattila (hooking), 5:20; USA, Novak (hooking), 7:36; FIN, Jarvinen (slashing), 10:37; USA, Yan (tripping), 11:18.

Shots by Period


Goals by Period 1st 2nd 3rd Total
USA 1 3 5 9
FIN 1 2 1 4


Goaltenders Time 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Sarthou 60:00 8/9 12/14 8/9 28/32
Vehvilainen 60:00 18/19 12/15 7/12 37/46


Special Teams USA FIN
Penalties (Penalties/Minutes) 10/28 4/8
Power Play (Goals/Chances) 1/4 2/9

Related News

Team USA Schedule for 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup

Date Opponent Time (Local/ET)
Aug. 9 Slovakia (Exhibition) W, 8-3
Aug. 11 Czech Republic L, 2-4
Aug. 12 Russia W, 7-4
Aug. 13 Finland W, 9-4
Aug. 15 Semifinal vs. Canada L, 5-11
Aug. 16 Third-Place Game vs. Sweden W, 5-4

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No one has ever said that officiating, and especially officiating ice hockey, was easy. Rule knowledge, communication skills, fitness, skating and a natural presence are just some of the skills necessary to be a successful official.  Some possess more of these skills and those are the officials who advance to higher levels. But regardless of the level achieved or the skill set the official possesses, the one quality that should be equal among every official is a high level of integrity.

The national official staff members, along with our volunteer referees-in-chief and local supervisors, have heard growing concerns over a decreasing level of integrity among our youth hockey officials. It’s sometimes said that no one is holding them accountable. A portion of this perception is likely a typical “blame the officials” mentality, but some anecdotal evidence suggests there is also some merit to this concern. That’s alarming to USA Hockey, as it affects the credibility of our entire program, along with every member it represents. The blunt truth is this: even one official who isn’t on the up and up can and will damage the credibility of all officials who do take pride in the integrity of their work.

Whether we like it or not, officials are under a microscope, and by the nature of the business, are held to a very high standard. When we signed up for this officiating gig, we committed ourselves to represent the game of hockey, USA Hockey, our local group of officials and ourselves as people of integrity who accept the responsibility and guardianship of enforcing the rules in a fair and consistent manner. Most importantly, we must remember that the game is bigger than all of us and that the game itself is what we serve. Those who lose sight of that not only compromise the competitive fairness of the games, they also make life more difficult for all of the officials by damaging the credibility of the officiating community.

An example of this type of unacceptable behavior occurred last season. A Level 2 adult official tended to work his games with a chip on his shoulder. He often created confrontation with coaches, alienated his younger partners with inaccurate advice and disregarded their help in attempting to get some calls and rule applications right. Even though the help they were providing was correct, he chose to maintain his incorrect position that affected the outcome of several games. He also tended to identify certain players and single them out for various infractions and/or on-ice lectures as a means of emphasizing his authority.

Once the trends were identified, concerns were voiced by several parents and coaches to the local assigner and supervisor, who acknowledged they had never seen the official’s work, but would keep throwing him out there working the same teams and levels that had expressed concerns regarding his attitude. This included intentionally assigning him a playoff game involving the coach who was the most vocal in expressing concerns. This official was then instructed to “throw the coach out if he says anything.”

That playoff game went without a hitch – a tight 2-1 game with a couple of close off-side plays and maybe an icing or two missed. In the post-game dressing room, the official in question, in the presence of his partners and the officials scheduled to work the next game, said, “It’s always a great day when you can make one or both of the coaches mad. It’s too bad the white team coach didn’t want to play along today.” The partners sat there in silence until finally a 12-year-old Level 1 official who was working the next game said, “I don’t think that’s right. We’re not supposed to bait coaches.”

The official got dressed quickly and left the room without saying another word. Kind of ironic that it was the innocent 12-year-old that seemed to “get it” and instill a sense of accountability among those in the room. Imagine how any 12-year-old player feels on the ice when they see the official(s) displaying an attitude that is simply not to the standard the game deserves. And yes, more often than not, they can see through those who do not have the level of integrity expected.

Fortunately, these types of officials are few and far between. But they do exist and to simply stick our heads in the sand and not address the concern is irresponsible. Each of us, as officials, has an obligation to behave in a professional manner at all times and take our role seriously. We have made a commitment to approach each game with the understanding that the game is about the players and we should be invisible until the players require us to appear as a result of infractions that occur. Respect is a two-way street and simply putting on the sweater with the USA Hockey crest suggests respect is warranted, but only if supported by your actions.

USA Hockey has an obligation to create a non-threatening environment that promotes respect for officials and an opportunity for officials to improve through education and evaluation. USA Hockey does this through playing rules, points of emphasis, zero tolerance policies and comprehensive education programs for officials, coaches, parents and players.

In return, the game expects USA Hockey officiating members to bring a professional image to every contest and an attitude that creates a positive environment and makes the game better. We realize everyone makes mistakes – it’s part of the game. However, laziness or unprofessional behavior is unacceptable and being creative in rule enforcement and not holding players/coaches accountable for infractions will only make the next team of officials’ jobs much more difficult and set them up for failure.

The reality is that the game official must always hold themselves to the highest level of integrity and behavior both on and off the ice. Maybe that’s fair, or maybe not, but it is the expectation we are required to meet.

As we head into the 2015-16 season, ask yourself if you are willing to meet that expectation. If the answer is yes, welcome back and we look forward to a great season.

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