(Photos courtesy of Derek Leung/Hockey Canada Images)
NORTH SYDNEY, Nova Scotia - Luke Kirwan (Dewitt, N.Y.) scored three times and added two assists, Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) tallied three goals, and seven other players netted a goal, as the U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team defeated Germany, 14-1, here today at the Emera Centre Northside. With the win, Team USA improves to 2-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) at the the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
"Tonight our team was mentally tough and we played well together," said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team. "We improved areas of our game that we needed to and this contest will help us prepare for the grind we have ahead of us."
Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) opened the scoring for Team USA at 8:17 of the first period with a power-play tally. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Casey Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass.) assisted on the play. Kirwan netted his first of the night just 70 seconds later, teaming with Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) and Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) on the score. Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) made it a three-goal lead for the U.S. at 13:11, knocking a rebound into the net. With 27 seconds left in the opening frame, Kirwan potted his second goal to make it a 4-0 game.
Bracco pushed Team USA's lead to five goals less than a minute into the second stanza. Kirwan had the initial shot on net that Bracco knocked down and past German goalie Michael Boehm. Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) recorded the sixth unanswered goal for the U.S., converting after a cross-ice pass from Kirwan. Kirwan completed his hat trick at 14:10, slipping the puck under Boehm's pads. Greenway registered his first of the game at 15:27, crashing hard to the net after Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio.) had a shot deflected off the stick of Dennis Yan (Troy, Mich.). Germany answered 11 seconds later, but White notched his second of the game to give Team USA a 9-1 lead. Before the period expired, Greenway found the back of the net for the second time with Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.) and Roslovic chipping in on the marker.
In the final frame, Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa) sent a shot on net that rode up and over Boehm's stick at 7:09. Yan was next for the U.S., putting a McAvoy rebound into the net 50 seconds later. Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) was the ninth different goal scorer for Team USA at 10:46. Tkachuk and Caleb Jones (Frisco, Texas) added assists on the power-play goal. Greenway capped the scoring with his third at 14:56 to give the U.S. a 14-1 victory.
Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) stopped 16 shots in the win for Team USA, while Boehm kicked out 33 of the 47 shots he faced for Germany.
All games of the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (excluding the title game) will be streamed live, and also available on-demand, at FASTHockey.com.
The U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team will skate in its fourth-straight game tomorrow, Dec. 31, when it takes on Canada's Team Atlantic at Centre 200 in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. EST.
Luke Kirwan (3 goals, 2 assists)