THREE POINTS FROM PASTUJOV HELP AMERICANS TO COMEBACK WIN
LAMBTON SHORES, Ont. – The United States relied on six different goal scorers as it doubled Sweden by a 6-3 score in the opening Group B game Sunday afternoon at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Led by Nick Pastujov’s goal and two assists and Patrick Khodorenko’s goal and assist, the Americans opened defence of the gold medal they won 10 months ago in Cape Breton, N.S., with a victory.
Trent Frederic, Clayton Keller, Keeghan Howdeshell and Max Jones also scored the U.S., while William Fällström, Marcus Davidsson and Oliver Olsson found the back of the net for Sweden.
Howdeshell got the scoring started at 6:45 of the first, muscling a Swedish defender off the puck and snapping a shot inside the far post past Gusten Lundh, and Jones cleaned up the rebound of a Khodorenko breakaway chance late in the period for a 2-0 American lead after 20 minutes.
Sweden came out firing in the second, tying the game before the six-minute mark of the middle frame; Fällström ripped a one-timer past U.S. netminder Joseph Woll on a power play at 3:57, and Davidsson tied it just 1:56 later.
Olsson gave the Swedes their first lead just past the midway mark of the period, but Frederic needed just nine seconds to bring the Americans back to even, and Khodorenko snapped a shot just under the cross bar with the U.S. holding the man advantage, making it a 4-3 game after two periods.
Keller gave the Americans some breathing room at 14:01 of the third period, taking a pass from Pastujov, circling in the offensive zone and beating Lundh up high, and Khodorenko capped the scoring into an empty net in the final minute.
Both teams went 1-for-5 on the power play, and the U.S. finished with a 34-24 edge in shots on goal.
The Americans will see the ice next on Monday when they face Slovakia at 3 p.m. ET, while the Swedes meet Canada Red in a 7 p.m. ET match-up, both at The Shores Recreation Centre.