AROSA, Switzerland — Jack Rathbone (West Roxbury, Mass.) scored twice and Bobby DeFriest (Coral Springs, Fla.) and Sasha Chmelevski (Northville, Mich.) each contributed a goal and two assists as the U.S. Under-17 Select Team topped Germany, 8-1, to finish in first place at the 2015 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.
“Every player in the locker room contributed in the tournament,” said Pat Boller (Queens, N.Y.), head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team. “We are so proud of how the kids played. They faced some adversity early and stuck with it. This win will be a memory we’ll share forever.”
Team USA took advantage of a five-on-three opportunity at 10:23 of the opening period when Chmelevski fired one home to the glove side off a feed from Ivan Lodnia (Novi, Mich.).
DeFriest put the U.S. up 2-0 with another power-play marker as he finished a rebound off a shot by Chmelevski with 2:47 remaining in the first stanza.
The U.S. scored two goals during five-on-three advantages in the opening minutes of the second period. Jacob McGrew (Orange, Calif.) converted on a pass from Reilly Walsh (Andover, N.H.) at 1:01 before Jacob Tortora (Victor, N.Y.) scored on the short side :30 later.
At 3:09, Rathbone buried the puck over the glove of Germany goaltender Tim Lehwald to make it 5-0, then connected again with a top-shelf backhanded goal on a pass from Isaac Johnson (Andover, Minn.) 3:03 later. DeFriest added assists on both goals.
The U.S. extended its lead to 7-0 at 11:45 of the second period when Chmelevski sent a pass to Johnson for the one-timer.
Germany converted on a breakaway at 7:33 of the third stanza to get on the board, but two minutes later Lodnia wrapped the puck around the net and tucked it past the German goaltender to account for the 8-1 final.
Team USA completed the tournament with a 3-1-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.
Notes: Goaltenders Cayden Primeau (Voorhees, N.J.) and William Girard IV (Boca Raton, Fla.) split time in net. Primeau made the start before Girard IV took the net midway through the second period … For the fourth year in a row, Team USA placed among the top two teams at the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament … Full statistics from today’s game can be found here … Along with the U.S., the 2015 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament includes teams from Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland.