The United States entry into this year’s IIHF U18 World Championship from Sweden got off to a great start, winning 6-1 over the host country in their first game of the tournament. Jack Hughes, most likely to be a Devil come late June, had an assist on the sixth US goal.
Simon Holmstrom got Sweden on the board first when he scored at 14:16 of the first period. From then on, Team USA took over the game.
Cole Caufield scored his first of three when he tied the game up at 4:47 of the second. Less than a minute later, at the 5:26 mark, John Beecher scored to give the US the lead for good.
The USA exploded in the third period, scoring four more times. Case McCarthy scored just 21 seconds into the third frame, followed by Caufield again at the 3:02 mark.
Caufield completed the hat trick at the 5:15 mark, scoring to make it 5-1 Team USA. Alex Turcotte scored with 3:01 remaining in the game with Hughes getting the primary assist to cap off the 6-1 victory for the US. That final goal from Turcotte came on the power play.
In goal Sweden’s Hugo Alnefelt made 36 saves on 42 US shots while the Americans’ Spencer Knight stopped 29 of 30 Swedish shots.
Hughes’ statistics read: the assist for one point, two penalty minutes (an interference call 2:13 into the second period), four shots on goal and an even plus/minus.
Next up in the tournament, Team USA takes on Slovakia tomorrow (April 19) at about 3:30 PM local time. We will have something up along with game one of the Halifax-Drummondville and Spokane-Vancouver series also starting tomorrow.
Now on to the Ontario Hockey League, where the Ottawa 67’s and Mitchell Hoelscher take on the Oshawa Generals in the third round of the playoffs. The game was played at TD Place in Ottawa and what a thriller it was for the home fans, with the 67’s winning by a score of 6-4.
Brett Neumann of the Generals got the goal-fest kicked off when he scored 12:47 into the first period. Oshawa would take the first lead of the game, 1-0.
But Ottawa would roll back into things when Marco Rossi scored two goals in a span of 2:23. He first beat Oshawa goalie Kyle Keyser at 15:47 to level the game and then scored again at 18:24 of the first to put the 67’s ahead 2-1.
Ottawa would then relenquish the lead in the second period, going behind 4-2. Danil Antropov scored on the power play at 1:33 of the second. Rossi had been nabbed for kneeing to set up the power play. Then Brandon Saigeon notched two in less than a minute to give the Generals back the lead. Allan McShane had the primary assist on the Antropov goal and the only assists on the two Saigeon goals.
In a back-and-forth game, with Oshawa taking over in the second period, the 67’s absolutely owned the third period.
It began when Hoelscher, the Devils prospect, scored at 7:34 of the third frame to pull Ottawa within one. That just opened the floodgates and the 67’s scored four unanswered to win the game.
Sasha Chmelevski found the back of the net at 14:04 to tie the game at four. Noel Hoefenmayer beat Keyser 49 seconds later to make it 5-4 67’s on what would go down as the game-winner. That came on the power play while Oshawa’s Nico Gross was off for kneeing.
Ottawa’s Kody Clark added an empty netter at 19:20 to ice the game for the 67’s. Ottawa now has a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
In goal, the Generals’ Keyser made 31 saves on 36 67’s shots (Ottawa had 37 shots total with the empty net goal). For the 67’s, Michael DiPietro made 16 saves on 20 shots against.
Hoelscher ended the game with the goal for a point, an even plus/minus rating and a shot on goal. He was also 12-for-18 in the faceoff circle.
The 67’s have still yet to lose a game this OHL playoff and will put that streak on the line again on Saturday, April 20. That game is a 2 PM start time and we will have a write-up here for you then.