David Valek netted two goals and Adam Murray made 40 saves as the U.S. National Under-18 Team defeated Russia, 5-3, to capture its third straight first-place finish at the 2009 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament in Nykoping, Sweden. Team USA finished with a perfect 4-0-0-0 record.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team is undefeated in international competition this season, with a 7-1-0-0 record (W-OTW-OTL-L). The squad also won the 2008 Men's Under-18 Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., in November.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team won the Five Nations Tournament four previous times (1999, 2005, 2007, 2008).
The Under-18 Five Nations Tournament is the final international event for Team USA prior to the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championship which runs from April 9-19 in Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn.
Austin Czarnik scored 38 seconds into the game and the U.S. National Under-17 Team never looked back as it rolled past host
Slovakia, 7-1, to take first place at the 2009 Vlad Dzurilla Under-18
Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia.
“It was a great team effort and a very good performance by the players in a first-place game,” said John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. “I think that this week, the team went through some adversity for the first time and were still able to finish in first place. Moving forward, we'll take the positives and everything we learned from this tournament and continue to improve.”
The U.S. National Under-17 Team finished international competition with a 10-0-2-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record this season.
The Under-17 Team won the Vlad Dzurilla Tournament in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.