Sunday, November 08, 2009

USA Under-17s win Four Nations Cup

Rocco Grimaldi
notched three points and Seth Ambroz scored twice as the U.S. National Under-17 Team rolled past Switzerland, 8-2, to capture first place at the 2009 Under-17 Four Nations Cup in Trnava, Slovakia, with a perfect 3-0-0-0 record.

"Obviously this was a great way to end the tournament," said Ron Rolston, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "We definitely played our best game today. It's always great to win a championship. We'll look to build off of this week and take this momentum into our USHL competition when we get back."

Ambroz opened the scoring just 1:16 into the contest when he tipped Barrett Kaib's point shot past netminder Patrick Bonvin. After being hauled down one a breakaway at 6:35, Grimaldi was awarded a penalty shot. Grimaldi skated in on Bonvin, deked to open up the five hole and slipped the puck through to double the U.S. lead. Reid Boucher converted on a rebound chance from the right side at 15:16 to make it 3-0. Sven Andrighetto notched a power-play goal at 17:14 to get the Swiss on the board.

It was all Team USA in the second stanza, as it got four goals from four different players. Just 1:35 into the period, Blake Pietila took a stretch pass from Jake McCabe, skated in on a breakaway, deked to his backhand and roofed the puck just under the crossbar to make it 4-1. Just 2:19 later, Michael Paliotta's feed sent J.T. Miller on a breakaway and Miller slipped the puck under new netminder Luca Boltshauser to give the U.S. a four-goal advantage. At 16:16, Miller took a shot that hit both the post and crossbar before bouncing to Ryan Haggerty who tapped it home to make it 6-1. Just 44 seconds later, Grimaldi won a draw back to Tyler Biggs, who snapped it past Boltshauser to give Team USA a 7-1 lead. U.S. goaltender Matt McNeely stopped all nine shots he saw in the stanza to keep Switzerland at a distance.

Robin Leone scored 1:28 into the final frame for Switzerland and Ambroz tallied a power-play marker at 16:45 to account for the 8-2 final.

McNeely made 23 stops to earn his second win of the tournament.

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