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USA White Tops Finland, 4-2; USA Blue Falls to Sweden, 4-3

Three different players tallied a goal and assist as USA White topped Finland, 4-2, in the opening game of the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase.

USA White opened the scoring 1:05 into the game when Evan Barratt (Bristol, Penn.) took a pass from Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and slid the puck past Finland’s goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane, Wash.) also collected an assist on the play.

Finland evened the score 7:31 later after Kasper Kotkansalo rang a wrist shot off the post to beat Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.).

USA White regained the lead 6:50 into the middle stanza when Jack Badini (Old Greenwich, Conn.) beat Luukkonen with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle off assists from Max Gerlach (Burnsville, Minn.) and Dylan Samberg (Hermantown, Minn.).

With 6:48 remaining in the period, Janne Kuokkanen was able to knot the score at two apiece by skating in alone and firing a high shot past Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Mich.).

Just 1:23 into the final frame, Gerlach made it 3-2 for USA White by taking a pass from Ivan Lodnia (Novi, Mich.), wrapping around the net and tucking the puck past a sprawled Luukkonen.

USA White claimed a two-goal advantage with 7:13 to play when Barratt forced a turnover, allowing Mittelstadt to pick up the puck, skate in alone and tuck a backhanded shot under the crossbar.

Oettinger, who started in goal for USA White, saw 31:01 minutes of play and finished with 10 saves on 11 shots. In 28:59 minutes of action, St. Cyr stopped eight of the nine shots he faced in relief.

USA White returns to action tomorrow when it takes on Sweden at 4 p.m. ET.

Riley Tufte (Ham Lake, Minn.) registered a pair of assists and six other players recorded points, but USA Blue fell to Sweden, 4-3, here tonight at the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase at USA Hockey Arena.

Both teams traded chances in the first 10 minutes, but neither could convert as Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass.) saw a pair of chances turned aside before goaltender Joseph Woll (St. Louis, Mo.) was forced to block a series of Sweden chances to keep the game scoreless.

Then, with just under three minutes to play in the period, USA Blue tallied a pair of goals to enter the first intermission with a 2-0 lead. Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) put USA Blue on the board with 2:59 remaining when he redirected a shot from Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn.) while on the power play. Sean Dhooghe (Aurora, Ill.) connected just 25 seconds later when Tufte entered the zone and dropped the puck back for him to wire a wrist shot past Sweden goaltender Filip Gustavsson.

In the middle stanza, Woll was again called upon early before Sweden’s Jesper Bratt found off a loose puck between the hash marks and converted at the 13:08 mark.

USA Blue gained a 3-1 advantage with 3:55 remaining in the stanza when Cockerill batted home a rebound off a shot from Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) that was initially redirected in front by Tufte. Just 1:44 later, Bratt tallied his second of the game on a breakaway to bring Sweden back within one.

Timothy Liljegren of Sweden tied the game with 4:29 remaining in the third before Fredrick Karlstrom netted one with nine seconds remaining to give Sweden the 4-3 victory.

Woll, who started in goal for USA Blue, finished with 12 saves on 13 shots in 29:41 minutes of action. Keith Petruzzelli (Wilbraham, Mass.) stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced in 30:29 minutes of play.

USA Blue returns to action tomorrow when it faces Finland at 1 p.m. ET.

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