Under-17 Team takes second in Slovakia
The U.S. National Under-17 Team received point contributions from seven different players, but was defeated, 7-3, by Slovakia in both teams' final game of the 2008 Under-18 Vlad Dzurilla Tournament in Slovakia.
Team USA posted a 2-1 mark in the event, while the Slovakians took first place with a 3-0 record.
Tomáš Tatár gave the Slovakians a 1-0 lead at the 5:17 point of the opening period with a power-play marker.
Team USA responded with a power-play goal its own at 15:04 of the frame when A.J. Treais (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) notched his team-leading fourth point of the Vlad Dzurilla Tournament. William Wrenn (Anchorage, Alaska) handed the lone assist on the goal.
The Slovakians then rattled off two goals in the first three minutes of the the second period, as Tatár and Richard Vojsovic each found the back of the net. Team USA goaltender Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.) was then replaced by Michael Clemente (Great Falls, Va.) after turning away 11 of the 14 shots he faced.
Adam Lapšanský tacked on another power-play goal for Slovakia at the 6:41 mark of the middle stanza to give his team a 4-1 lead.
Team USA made it a 4-2 game at 14:04, as Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) scored off an assist from Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich.).
Tomáš Hricina's goal at 15:18 of the period allowed Slovakia to regain its three-goal cushion. Marek Viedenský helped his team build a 6-2 lead with a goal 3:01 into the third session.
Beau Schmitz (Howell, Mich.) notched the final marker of the contest for Team USA a little less than two minutes later, courtesy of helpers from Drew Shore (Denver, Colo.) and Dakota Eveland (Anaheim, Calif.).
Tomáš Hricina added one additional goal for Slovakia, to pave the way for a five-goal victory.
Clemente made 17 saves in 36:48 of action for Team USA, while Matej Kristín finished with 24 stops in the win for Slovakia.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team (26-23-2) will compete in the North American Hockey League’s first annual Top Prospects Tournament, set for February 17-19 at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Mich. The event will feature all-star teams from the NAHL's Central, North and South Divisions, as well as a team from the U.S. National Team Development Program, competing in a three-game, round-robin tournament.
Notes: Team USA has finished among the top two teams in its last three Vlad Dzurilla Tournament appearances ... It won the tournament in 2006 and 2007, and took second this year ... Switzerland (1-2) took third in the tournament, while Germany (0-3) was fourth ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team finished 9-5 during international competition in 2007-08 ... Team USA is a season-best 7-3 in its 10 games ... A.J. Treais led Team USA with four points (two goals, two assists) at the Vlad Dzurilla Tournament.