The U.S. National Under-17 Team took second place at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge after falling, 3-0, to Team Ontario in the championship game of the tournament in Ontario on Friday night.
"I was certainly proud of our effort during this tournament," said Ron Rolston, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "We put ourselves in a position to play for a championship, but Team Ontario was the better team tonight. They were more committed to doing what they needed to do to win, and that was the difference in the game."
Team Ontario's Taylor Hall scored a goal at the 12:56 mark of the first period to give his squad a 1-0 lead. After gaining possession of the puck near the Team USA blue line, Hall led a 2-on-1 break while skating up the right wing. He then released a wrist shot from the front of the net that beat netminder Brandon Maxwell (Winter Park, Fla.) high on the glove side.
The second marker of the game came at 7:24 of the second stanza when Peter Holland finished off a 2-on-0 breakaway for Team Ontario. A Team USA turnover in the neutral zone allowed Hall to grab the puck and lead a rush with Holland all alone into the offensive zone. Holland tapped a pass from Hall through the crease past Maxwell inside the right post. Team Ontario built a three-goal advantage less than two minutes later as Matthew Duchene slipped a wrister from the bottom of the left circle through the legs of Maxwell.
Neither team would score again, paving the way for Team Ontario to secure a 6-0-0 record at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Maxwell racked up 16 saves for Team USA to complete the tournament with a 4-1-0 record. O'Hagen stopped 28 shots in gaining the shutout for Team Ontario.
NOTES: Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich.) was selected to the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge All-Star Team ... Team USA compiled a 4-2-0 mark at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge ... Team USA has finished second at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge four times (1994, 1998, 2006, 2008) ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team is 7-4-0 in international competition during the 2007-08 season ... Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) led the United States with eight points (6-2) at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge ... The 8,889 fans in attendance at the John Labatt Centre tonight broke a single-game record for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge ... The previous single-game high (6,247) came at the 2004 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in St. John's, Newfoundland.