U.S. National Under-17 Team Outlasted by St. Louis, 4-2
Reid Boucher (Grand Ledge, Mich.) and Dan Carlson (Corcoran, Minn.) each notched goals as the U.S. National Under-17 Team fell to the St. Louis Bandits, 4-2, here tonight in the closing game of the 2009 North American Hockey League Showcase.
Despite a 16-shot onslaught from St. Louis in the opening stanza, the Bandits only mustered one goal thanks to the play of U.S. netminder John Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa.) who made 15 saves. Ryan Stouffer netted the goal for St. Louis at 14:49.
In the second period, St. Louis jumped out to a three-goal lead with a tally from Stouffer at 2:04 and a power-play marker from Mike Gunn at 6:37. Just 31 seconds later, Boucher knocked home a rebound off of a Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) shot to make it 3-1. Team USA cut the deficit to one goal after J.T. Miller (East Palestine, Ohio) snapped a shot that glanced off the blocker of goaltender Garrett Bartus, then off Carlson and into the net at 15:34. Gibson made 17 more stops in the middle frame.
Tyler Klein scored just 2:05 into the final stanza and the U.S. could not solve Bartus in the closing 20 minutes, allowing St. Louis to skate away with the 4-2 win. Matt McNeely (Burnsville, Minn.), who replaced Gibson for the third period, made 11 saves.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team returns to action Oct. 2 when it meets the Chicago Steel at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube at 7:05 p.m. EDT to kick off the 2009-10 United States Hockey League regular season.
NOTES: Ryan Haggerty (Stamford, Conn./2-1--3), Matt Van Voorhis (Edina, Minn./1-2--3) and Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif./0-3--3) paced Team USA with three points each at the 2009 NAHL Showcase ... Both National Team Development Program squads will play in the United States Hockey League during the 2009-10 season. The U.S. National Under-17 Team will play 34 USHL games, while the U.S. National Under-18 Team will play 26. The two squads will count jointly as one team in the USHL East Division standings.