Bolstered by four third-period goals, the U.S. National Under-17 Team notched a 6-3 win over Slovakia in Russia on Saturday. The win pushed Team USA's record to 2-0 in the 2007 Four Nations Tournament.
"We played a technically sound game today against a very skilled team," said Ron Rolston, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "We will have to be equally as sharp tomorrow against a highly-talented group from Russia."
A.J. Treais (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) opened up the game's scoring for Team USA with his third goal of the season just over two minutes into the opening period. Kenny Ryan (Franklin Village, Mich.) was credited with the lone assist on the play.
Slovakia's Marek Hrivak scored at the 8:19 mark of the first stanza when he beat Team USA goaltender Adam Murray (Anchoraga, Alaska) top-shelf on the short side.
Team USA went ahead for good when Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) lit the lamp at 13:46 of the period off an assist from David Valek (Orem, Utah).
Both teams fired 13 shots on goal in the middle frame, but neither was able to solve the opposing netminder.
A total of six goals were scored in the third period, including four from Team USA, and two from Slovakia.
Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.) netted one of two power-play goals in the final stanza at 4:15 thanks to an assist from Zach Golembiewski (St. Claire, Mich.). Bourque beat the Slovakian goalkeeper up high with a shot from the hash marks.
Hrivak scored again for Slovakia at 7:04, but Morin picked up his second goal of the day, and what proved to be the game-winner just 57 seconds later. Morin connected on a one-timer from Golembiewski on the wing.
Team USA added to its lead on the power play at the 9:57 mark of the final stanza as Bourque scored with another shot from the hash marks. Golembiewski earned his third helper of the day, while Drew Shore (Denver, Colo.) also tacked on an assist on he goal.
Shore pitched in his fifth goal of the campaign off an assist from Morin to complete Team USA's scoring in the game.
Filip Janosik added a third goal for the Slovakians, with a man advantage, but the U.S. National Under-17 Team didn't surrender another score for the rest of regulation.
Murray filed his third win of the year between the pipes for Team USA after making 25 saves.
Team USA went 0-for-5 on the power play, and held Slovakia scoreless in five chances with a man advantage.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team will meet Russia in the championship game of the 2007 Four Nations Tournament tomorrow at 4 p.m. local time and 8 a.m. ET.
The U.S. Under-18 Team evened its record to 1-1 at the Four Nations Tournament with a 6-5 win over Finland.
NOTES: Team USA is 2-0-0 at the 2007 Four Nations Tournament and has secured at least second place ... Russia is 2-0-0, Slovakia is 0-2-0 and Switzerland is 0-2-0 ... Ryan Bourque was recognized as the Best Player of the game after scoring his fourth and fifth goals of the year ... Zach Golembiewski tallied a career-high three assists today and two goals yesterday ... Travis Morin is on a five-game point streak (8-2) and leads the club with 18 points (14-4) ... Drew Shore is on a four-game point streak (2-3) and is tied for second on the squad with 15 points (6-9) ... Kyle Palmieri is tied for second in scoring with 15 points (9-6--15).