Sunday, August 13, 2006

Smith, USA take silver at Hlinka Memorial

The United States Under-18 Select Team lost a hard-fought, 3-0, decision to Canada Saturday in the gold medal game of the 2006 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka. Earning the silver medal and its best finish since 2003, the United States ended the tournament with a 3-1 record after going undefeated in round-robin play.

“Overall, our team left everything on the ice and really showed a lot of courage,” said Team USA head coach Ed Olczyk. “We had some good chances, but we didn’t have the bounce in our step that we had throughout the rest of the tournament and Canada played a really strong game. I couldn’t be more proud of the boys and I’m very grateful to have had this opportunity.”

Brett Sonne gave Canada the early lead with a rebound goal on a two-man advantage at 10:49 of the first period.

Team USA had a scoring opportunity in the opening minutes of the second frame, but after a U.S. shot went wide of Canadian goaltender Trevor Cann during a 4-on-4 situation, Team Canada transitioned to a 2-on-1 odd-man rush. Once in the offensive zone, Tyler Ennis passed across the slot from the left faceoff dot to Sonne, who one-timed his second goal of the evening, and fifth of the tournament, to give Canada a 2-0 lead.

Canada again used special teams to extend its lead in the final period, as Ennis took a drop pass from Brandon Sutter to beat U.S. netminder Jeremy Smith (Brownstown/Plymouth Whalers) at 10:36.

Smith made 27 stops for Team USA, while Cann recorded 20 saves for Canada.

Release courtesy USA Hockey
Smith photo by Walt Dmoch

No comments: