Friday, August 11, 2006

Plymouth netminder Smith one win from gold

Plymouth Whalers' second-year goaltender Jeremy Smith is playing for Team USA in the 2006 Under-18 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia and Breclav, Czech Republic and has his team one win from a gold medal.

The U.S. advanced to the gold medal game tomorrow against Canada after defeating host Czech Republic, 4-3, in overtime yesterday. Smith stopped 41 shots in the victory and was named U.S. Player of the Game for the second straight game.

Smith turned aside 36 shots in Team USA's 4-2 victory over Russia on Wednesday and was named U.S. Player of the Game. Smith also stopped 24 shots to backstop the USA victory over Finland in the tournament opener Tuesday.

In all, Smith has saved 101 of 108 shots faced in the tournament for a .935 save percentage.

The Brownstown native was Plymouth's fourth-round pick, 64th overall, in the 2005 OHL Priority Selection out of the Belle Tire '89s. He played in five games last year and went 0-2-0 with a 5.94 goals-against average and a .845 save percentage.

Whalers' draft choices Nick Petrecki and Vincent Lo Verde also are on the U.S. team. Petrecki was Plymouth's first-rounder in 2005 and Lo Verde went in the tenth round. Both have verbally committed to college for 2007 as Petrecki is off to Boston College and Lo Verde will play at Miami.

Photo by Walt Dmoch

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