The Americans finished with an undefeated 3-0-0-0 record during the preliminary round of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, sealing the deal with a 7-3 victory over Team Canada Red.
USA were the first to score. It’s no secret Max Jones has an incredible wrist shot, and he proved it four minutes into the game, and while the first shot didn’t go in, he grabbed his own rebound and made it 1-0 USA. Two minutes after, Clayton Keller, easily the top player in the tournament so far, wired one past Peterbourgh Petes goaltender Dylan Wells for the 2-0 marker.
The first period onslaught wasn’t complete for the Americans. Six minutes after that, Kailer Yamamoto took control of the loose puck in the neutral zone before giving the Americans the healthy three goal lead. Jones capped off the period with what proved to be the game winner, grabbing a power-play goal with under two minutes to go in the first.
Keller’s incredible performance wasn’t complete. The Boston University commit got USA’s 5th of the game just over a minute into the second, a shift that was completely dominated by the goal scoring forward. Adam Mascherin, one of Canada Red’s best players all tournament, finally got Canada on the board at 3:22 with a power-play marker. Any good vibes Canada had after the goal was quickly shot down by Keenan Suthers, who gave the Americans the 6-1 lead.
Canada saw a big positive in the likes of William Bitten during the third period. The Plymouth Whalers forward was consistently one of the better players all game for Canada, and it paid off with a goal in the third. Canada would get a late goal by Dante Fabbro to cut the American lead in half, but a third goal from Keller (tournament leading 9th point) sealed the deal, giving USA the 7-3 final victory. It was a bitter defeat for Canada, who was also undefeated coming into the third game.
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