U.S. Opens Five Nations Play With 9-3 Victory Over Slovakia

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 
Argentina tallies five-point game  

FÜSSEN, Germany – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s Select Team opened the 2019 Five Nations Tournament in convincing fashion today, defeating Slovakia, 9-3, here at Füssen Arena.

“Our first win of the tournament against a strong Slovak team was a nice start,” said head coach Matt Curley. “In the second period, we obviously had some kinks and we have some things to work on moving forward, but we closed the game out well. It’s a nice way to start the tournament.”

Team USA will have tomorrow off before continuing pool play Thursday (Aug. 15) with a matchup against Switzerland. Puck drop is slated for a 6:30 p.m. local time start (9 a.m. ET) and can be streamed via SportDeutschland.tv. 
The U.S. got off to a fast start with Bennett Schimek (Mendota Heights, Minn.) beating Slovakian goaltender Elias Rastislav just 1:27 into play. Joe Palodichuk (Cottage Grove, Minn.) initiated the play when he collected a turnover in the defensive zone and found Schimek for an early 1-0 U.S. lead.

Team USA struck again just two minutes later when Austen May (Woodhaven, Mich.) buried a deflected pass from Jackson Blake (La Grange, Ill.) to extend the lead to 2-0.

Slovakia generated a pair of scoring chances midway through the first frame, but HobieHedquist (Heron Lake, Minn.) stood tall to keep it a 2-0 game. Kenny Connors (Glen Mills, Penn.) and Blake added two more goals in the final minutes of the period to give the United States a 4-0 advantage heading into the first intermission.

In the middle stanza, Slovakia scored a trio of goals in a 48 second-window just past the midway point of the period to make it a 4-3 game. Jack Silich (Long Grove, Ill.) and LukeMittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn.) responded in the period’s closing minutes to give the U.S. a 6-3 lead through two periods of play.

A three-goal third-period for the U.S. sealed the 9-3 victory as Schimeck and Silich each tallied their second goals of the night before Tyler Haskins (Rochester, Minn.) scored the final U.S. goal with 1:25 to play in regulation.

NOTES: Jackson Blake was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Matt Argentina (Philadelphia, Penn.) recorded five assists to lead the U.S. in scoring … Follow Team USA throughout the 2019 Five Nations Tournament here.
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