The U.S. National Under-17 Team avenged a 4-1 deficit by exploding with six unanswered goals to record a 7-4 victory over Canada's Team West in its third preliminary-round game of the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge World Under-17 Hockey Challenge here tonight.
"It was important that we got through our first sign of adversity at this tournament," said Ron Rolston, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "We did a good job of fighting back in the third period. Now we have to continue getting better during each game of the tournament."
Team West took a 1-0 lead at the 10:30 mark of the first period off a goal from Scott Glennie. After Team USA netminder Brandon Maxwell (Winter Park, Fla.) made the initial save on a shot from Brayden Schenn, Glennie grabbed the loose puck and poked the rebound past a diving Maxwell on the glove side.
Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) knotted the score at 1-1 for Team USA at 2:23 of the second stanza. Palmieri corralled a bouncing puck in the low slot and slipped it into the left corner of the net.
Team West built a 4-1 advantage in wake of a three-goal spurt from Schenn. On his first goal at 8:12, Schenn beat Maxwell on the glove side with a wrist shot from just to the left of the goal crease. His second marker came off a powerful blast from the left point at 12:48, and a quick shot from the slot completed his natural hat trick at the 14:59 mark.
The three-goal lead was short-lived, however, as Team USA finished the period with two markers of its own. Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) recorded his fourth goal of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge off an assist from Kenny Ryan (Franklin Village, Mich.) at 15:20. Ryan set up the scoring sequence by making a tape-to-tape pass from neutral ice to Morin near the Team West blue line. Morin finished off the breakaway by firing a wrist shot past Team West goaltender Mathew Krahn up high on the stick side.
Chris Brown (Flower Mound, Texas) notched his first goal of the tournament with 1:49 left in the frame, thanks to a helper from Morin. Morin made a pass from the left corner boards over to Brown in front of the Team West net. Brown's shot trickled by Krahn into the net.
The United States tied the game up at the 2:57 mark of the third session as Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) wristed a shot from near the left hash mark up high past Krahn. Jerry D'Amigo (Binghamton, N.Y.) doled out the lone assist on the goal.
Team USA registered the go-ahead goal on the power-play at 4:52 when Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.) stuffed the puck past Krahn just inside the right post. Morin put a low wrist shot by Krahn from the bottom of the right circle to give the U.S. National Under-17 Team a 6-4 lead at the 7:20 mark, with assistance from Brown.
Ryan broke the game open with an unassisted tally at 12:56 of the final period. While skating the puck down the right wing he released a wrist shot from the circle that beat Krahn in the five hole.
Maxwell stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced for Team USA, pushing his record to 3-0-0 in tournament competition. Krahn made 40 saves in the loss for Team West.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team (3-0-0) plays its final preliminary-round game of the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Tuesday (Jan. 1) against Germany at the John Labatt Centre. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
NOTES: Jeremy Morin (2g, 1a) was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Team USA has tallied a power-play goal in nine straight games ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team is averaging over 51 shots on goal per game at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge ... Team USA is the lone undefeated team in Pool B of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge ... Team Ontario is the only team with an unblemished record in Pool A of the tournament.