GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Eight different players scored goals and 15 players registered at least one point, as the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team bested Canada, 10-3, to claim the bronze medal at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men’s World Championship. Team USA concludes the tournament with a 6-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.
Team USA opened the scoring early in the first frame on the power play. Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) found Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn.) who received the pass on his forehand, swung the puck around and stuffed the puck underneath the pad of Stuart Skinner. Thirty-one seconds later, Logan Brown (Raleigh, N.C.) made a play around the net and the puck caromed out front. He circled the net, corralled the loose puck and fired a shot that beat Skinner glove side.
Canada responded to cut the U.S. lead in half, but less than a minute later, Keller turned and found Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) who lit the lamp. J.D. Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) also collected an assist. Brown tallied his second from the slot to give the United States a 4-1 lead. Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane, Wash.) earned helpers on the marker.
Skating shorthanded late in the period, Keller poked the puck away from a Canadian skater and broke away alone, getting a shot off, but the attempt was denied. Anderson followed up the play and put in the rebound for Team USA’s fifth goal. Greenway earned the second helper. Nick Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.) launched a shot from the slot to cap first period scoring for the U.S. Keeghan Howdeshell (Brighton, Mich.) and Will Lockwood (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) assisted.
Team USA notched its seventh goal just 1:27 into the second stanza on the power play. Brown and Mittelstadt executed a give and go and Mittelstadt found Yamamoto on the door step. Yamamoto’s first attempt was blocked but his second shot found the back of the net. Stopping a penalty shot, Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) poke checked away Canada’s best chance of the frame.
The U.S. continued to pressure the Canadians and struck again 4:22 into the third period. Zach Walker (Boise, Idaho) broke out alone and put the puck past Evan Fitzpatrick for the score. Griffin Luce (Williamsville, N.Y.) blasted a shot into the cage less than one minute later while Team USA skated 5-on-3 due to back-to-back penalties on Canada. Matthew Hellickson (Rogers, Minn.) and Trent Frederic (St. Louis, Mo.) assisted. Canada notched back-to-back tallies to draw closer, but a late tally by Lockwood capped the scoring and Team USA won, 10-3. Hellickson and Graham McPhee (Bethesda, Md.) earned helpers on the final goal.