Team USA Tops Sweden, 5-1, in Lone Pre-Tournament Game

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    Preliminary-round play begins Monday (April 26) agains Russia 
    FRISCO, Texas  – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team used five unanswered goals to take down Sweden, 5-1, in the team’s lone pre-tournament game of the 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship Saturday evening.After Sweden tallied the lone goal of the opening 20 minutes, Team USA scored a trio in the middle frame to take a 3-1 lead after two periods of play. 

    Aidan Hreschuk (Long Beach, Calif.) wasted no time evening the score 70 seconds in with a quick one-timer from the blue line. Ty Gallagher (Clarkston, Mich.) rimmed the puck around the boards and Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) shifted it back to Hreschuk to even the score. 

    Team USA took its first lead of the night when Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Va.) fired in a rebound attempt with just under five minutes to play in the second. Red Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.) had an impressive forecheck and his shot popped off the goaltender’s pads right to Gilmartin in front of an open net. 

    Justin Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) collected the secondary helper on the goal that made it 2-1. Dylan Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) extended the lead to a two-goal advantage late in the period when he connected in front on the power play. Sasha Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) took the initial shot from the right circle which was saved, but Logan Cooley (West Mifflin, Pa.) found the rebound and shifted it over to Duke for the 3-1 lead.

    Lane Hutson (Barrington, Ill.) made it four in a row for Team USA when his centering feed deflected off a Swedish player and in near the midway mark of the third. Pastujov and Ethan Straky (Ormond Beach, Fla.) collected helpers on the score. 

    Gallagher capped the scoring with 6:22 to play with a rocket of a wrist-shot from the left wing. He was sprung in behind the defense by Howard, while Hreschuk picked up another assist on the score. Kaidan Mbereko (Aspen, Colo.) and Gibson Homer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) split the game in net for Team USA and both goaltenders put in steady performances. 

    Team USA enters preliminary-round action Monday evening when they take on Russia at Comerica Center. Puck drop is slated for 8:00 p.m. CT / 9:00 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com.

    NOTES: Team USA news, interviews, highlights and more can be found at TeamUSA.USAHockey.com….For the official IIHF home for the 2021 Under-18 World Championship, click here… 23 of the 24 players on Team USA’s roster come from the National Team Development Program… The U.S. enters the tournament having medaled in a record 16 consecutive tournaments, including six golds in the past 10 competitions… Team USA has won 10 gold medals in tournament history, the most of any country in Under-18 Men’s World Championship history.
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