AMERICANS KEEP SCORING, BEAT WHITE TO STAY UNBEATEN
JASON LA ROSE
MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – Chaz Lucius had a goal and two assists to pace the offence, leading the United States to a 6-4 win over Canada White on Monday night at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Americans have scored 16 goals in their first two games, the most by one team since the U.S. netted 19 en route to a gold medal at the January 2014 tournament in Cape Breton, N.S.
Caden Brown – one of only two U.S. skaters who failed to record a point in the tournament-opening 10-1 win over the Czech Republic on Sunday – added a goal and an assist, as did Colby Saganiuk and Dylan Duke.
It was Saganiuk who got the scoring started just over two minutes in, redirecting a pretty cross-ice feed from Brown past Canadian goaltender William Rousseau (Trois-Rivières, Que./Trois-Rivières, LHMAAAQ).
Riley Kidney (Enfield, N.S./Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) got that back for White midway through the opening period, taking advantage of a giveaway in the offensive zone, but Brown tipped in a shot from Sasha Pastujov at 11:11 and Duke toe-dragged around a White defender before beating Rousseau 50 seconds after that to put the Americans ahead for good.
Lucius extended the advantage to two early in a back-and-forth second period, converting on a 2-on-0 break with Saganiuk, only for Jack Beck (Richmond Hill, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) to jump on a misplayed puck in front to get White back within a goal not even three minutes later.
Luke Hughes struck for the 5-2 goal on an American power play at 8:49 before Cole Sillinger (Regina, Sask./Medicine Hat, WHL) got his stick on a shot from Oscar Plandowski (Halifax, N.S./Charlottetown, QMJHL) for a man-advantage marker to cut the White deficit to two again before the end of the period.
Sillinger struck again early in the third on another power play when he intercepted a clearing attempt in the high slot and beat U.S. netminder Kaidan Mbereko, but Aidan Hreschuk needed just 45 seconds to beat Rousseau over the short-side shoulder and provide the final margin of victory.
The teams finished even in shots on goal, 26-26.
The U.S. will look to finish an unblemished preliminary round when it takes on Canada Black in its Group A finale Tuesday afternoon (3 p.m. MT), while Canada White closes its schedule against the Czech Republic (7 p.m. MT).