Home USA US U18 Men’s Select Team Falls To Sweden In Hlinka Opener

US U18 Men’s Select Team Falls To Sweden In Hlinka Opener


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –The United States Under-18 Men’s Select Team dropped a 6-1 decision to Sweden today in its opening game at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.

“I thought the effort was there and we had a good start, but we let them back into the game with all the penalties,” said U.S. head coach Clark Donatelli. “Sweden ended up with four power-play goals and a short-handed goal, so overall, our special teams have got to be better. We’ve got to clean a few things up and stay out of the penalty box.”

Things looked bright for the U.S. early, especially when Philippe Lapointe (Burr Ridge, Ill.) converted a rebound of Ryder Donovan’s (Duluth, Minn.) backhand shot to make it 1-0 at 14:11 of the first period, but it was all Sweden after that.

A U.S. penalty for gloving the puck at 12:54 of the second period led to Lukas Wernblom’s power-play goal that evened the score at 1-1. The U.S. earned a power play of its own less than a minute later, but a misplay in the defensive zone handed the puck to a wide-open Marcus Westfalt, who blasted a one-timer past Isaiah Saville (Anchorage, Alaska) to give Sweden its first lead.

Two more U.S. penalties, including one for inadvertently shooting the puck out of play on a short-handed clearing attempt, led to a second power-play goal for Sweden at 18:48, then at 19:09, with another delayed penalty coming to the U.S., Filip Johansson scored to make it 4-1.

The deficit was too much for Team USA to overcome.

The 16-year-old Saville, who stopped 36 shots and helped extinguish six Swedish power plays, was named U.S. Player of the Game.

Sweden finished 4 for 10 on the power play; the U.S. was 0 for 3.

Team USA (0-1) will look to regroup tomorrow against Switzerland at 3:30 p.m. local time / 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. That game, and all U.S. games during the Hlinka Cup, will be live streamed at hokejkatv.cz.


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