CRIMMITSCHAU, GERMANY — The U.S. Under-17 Select Team beat host country, Germany, 8-2, today and took second place in the 2014 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament. The U.S claimed a quick 2-0 lead in the first period and responded to Germany’s second period tally with four straight goals over the next five minutes of play.
Henry Crone (Cedar Hill, Texas) tallied four points, including a hat trick, and was named the U.S. Player of the Game.
“Today was a great team effort. We were solid in all three periods. We took an early lead and we were able to build on it,” said Cary Eades, head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team. “The game of hockey is funny sometimes—yesterday it looked like their goal had plexiglass protecting it, and today we were able to bury eight goals on about the same amount of chances. Additionally, the coaching staff is really proud of the way we responded after yesterday’s tough defeat. We showed maturity in being able to put that behind us and earn the silver trophy today.”
The U.S. jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first five minutes when Max Gerlach (Flower Mound, Texas) sniped a shot high-glove side off a feed from Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane, Wash.). Gerlach, Yamamoto and Ty Farmer (O’Fallon, Mo.) connected again midway through the period on the power play. Farmer scored backdoor on a Yamamoto pass for the 2-0 lead.
At 10:31 of the second stanza, the Germans got on the board during an odd-man rush, wrangling the rebound to make it 2-1.
The U.S. answered with four goals. First, Gerlach buried a shot off the faceoff to put the U.S. back up by a pair. Less than a minute later, Crone made it 4-1 on a feed from Garrett Wait (Edina, Minn.). Sam Rossini (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) fed Wait at the backdoor for an easy tap-in goal at 14:54. Then, in close to the net, Crone converted on a backhander.
To close out the second stanza, Germany netted one more, making it 6-2.
Team USA cashed in twice more in the first two minutes of the third period. On the power play, Wait wired a shot on the short side for the 7-2 lead. Crone one-timed a pass from Riley Tufte (Ham Lake, Minn.) to complete his hat trick and the game scoring.
Dayton Rasmussen (Eden Prairie, Minn.) saved 20 of 22 German shots.
Notes: For the third year in a row, Team USA placed among the top two teams at the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament … Team USA finished the tournament with a 3-1-0-0 (W-L-OTW-OTL) record, outscoring opponents 19-9 … Wait led team scoring with eight points (4-4). Crone (3-3) and Yamamoto (0-6) tied for second with six points each … Goaltenders Ryan Edquist (Lakeville, Minn.) and Rasmussen combined for a .922 save percentage, stopping 94 of 104 shots.
First Period—Scoring: 1, USA, Gerlach (Yamamoto, Farmer), 4:30; 2, USA, Farmer (Yamamoto, Gerlach), 10:01 (PP). Penalties: GER, Adam (interference), 9:42; GER, Bench (too many men), 14:37; USA, Kiersted (interference), 16:49.
Second Period—Scoring: 1, GER, Postel (Grabmaier, Hessler), 10:31; 3, USA, Gerlach (Senden), 10:42; 4, USA, Crone (Wait, Knierim), 12:02; 5, USA, Wait (Crone, Rossini), 14:54; 6, USA, Crone (Knierim, Wait), 15:36; 2, GER, Grabmaier (Niejenhuis, Klotz), 19:29 (PP). Penalties: USA, Crone (cross-checking), 4:12; USA, Tufte (slashing), 4:12; USA, Bellows (checking to the head and neck area), 8:17; USA, Bellows (10-minute misconduct), 8:17; USA, Gerlach (tripping), 17:34; GER, Niejenhuis (boarding), 20:00.
Third Period—Scoring: 7, USA, Wait (Senden, McInnis), 0:22 (PP); 8, USA, Crone (Tufte, Yamamoto), 1:29. Penalties: USA, McInnis (hooking), 10:03; GER, Zitterbart (delay of game), 12:56.
|Shots by Period||1st||2nd||3rd||Total|
|Goals by Period||1st||2nd||3rd||Total|
|Power Play (Goals/Chances)||2/4||1/5|
Many sports across the board have begun to see a decline in their number of officials. USA Hockey is no different, with numbers lagging slightly behind player growth.
With that in mind, USA Hockey has made a particularly concerted effort over the last couple of years to incentivize officials to stick around.
Not surprisingly that was the main topic discussed at the annual USA Hockey's Winter Meetings, according to National Referee-in-Chief Dave LaBuda.
“I'd say the overriding tone of the meeting was us talking about retention and trying to come up with ways in which to address that particular issue,” LaBuda said. “It's a very complex situation. There are a number of different factors that go into why an official decides not to stay registered. We can only address a certain number of those factors and the rest we have to hope fix themselves in some way.”
In an effort to be proactive, USA Hockey has implemented sweeping change in the registration process for existing officials.
It started by revamping the registration fees, and while some of the other minutiae is rather hard to digest, the most notable change is the reduction of registration requirements for officials that reach the Level 3 or Level 4 status.
As soon as an official has obtained Level 3 or Level 4 status for three consecutive years, they will become eligible to apply for tenured status. In order to attain that tenured status, officials must also attend what USA Hockey is calling an advanced officiating symposium.
“It's designed to encourage people to continue their level of registration and to advance to a higher level of registration,” LaBuda said. “Just getting them to climb that ladder and try to attain the highest level of registration will make them better officials, and in turn, improve the game.”
Essentially, USA Hockey wants to send a message to its officials, making it clear that their time is important to the organization.
“We understand that people's time nowadays is becoming tighter and tighter,” LaBuda said. “We wanted to make sure that we made the entire process as efficient as possible from a time standpoint.”
It seems to be working so far as USA Hockey has been able to stabilize its registration numbers over the last few years, according to LaBuda.
“We are starting to see some movement in that retention area,” LaBuda said. “It seems like every sport is experiencing a critical loss of officials to work their sport. We are hoping that these changes in the registration process will help us retain more officials down the road. It’s been a positive step in the right direction so far.”
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