Team USA won the Five Nations Tournament on home ice in Plymouth, Michigan. Despite losing one game to Sweden, the Americans were able to claim top spot with a 4-1 record after winning the deciding game against Finland 3-2.
“Our players were ready from the beginning of the tournament and our shots on goal and possession stats showed that,” said John Wroblewski, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. “We played a determined style of hockey that evolved throughout the tournament. They can wake up tomorrow and know that they are winners and there’s no doubt they will carry the confidence they built in this tournament into our future international competitions."
The Americans started with a 7-2 against Switzerland but suffered a 2-1 loss to Sweden on the second day despite outshooting the Swedes 40-14. Anton Johansson gave Sweden the lead with a penalty shot at 16:42 of the first period while the Americans had a tough time in front of Swedish goalie Adam Ahman.
Jacob Tortora tied the game at 5:12 of the second period but with 3:11 left in regulation time Emil Bernstrom scored the game-winner for Sweden.
The loss could have cost the Americans the tournament win had the Swedes not lost points as well. The yellow-and-blue team started with a 3-0 loss to archrival Finland and lost points in a shootout win against Switzerland and a 4-3 overtime victory against the Czechs.
That gave the Americans the opportunity to make up for the loss. They convincingly beat the Czechs 6-2 with goals coming from six different scorers and faced Finland in a game for tournament win.
Team USA earned the lead twice with goals from Tommy Miller in the first and from David Farrance in the second period but each time the Finns tied it up a few minutes later with goals scored by Olli Kaskinen and Santeri Hartikainen. In the third period it was Scott Reedy who scored the game-winning goal for the Americans.
In a tight race for tournament win the Americans had nine points, Sweden and the Czech Republic followed behind with seven points, Finland had six and Switzerland two. Belarus wins Druzhba Cup
More top-division nations participated in the Druzhba Cup in Minsk where host Belarus won ahead of Slovakia, Germany and Denmark. Austria won its Four Nations Tournament on home ice against Hungary, Italy and Slovenia.
MARTIN MERK Five Nations Tournament in Plymouth MI
1 Nov.: Finland v Sweden 3-0
1 Nov.: USA v Switzerland 7-2
2 Nov.: Switzerland v Czech Rep. 3-5
2 Nov.: USA v Sweden 1-2
3 Nov.: Switzerland v Sweden 2-3 SO
3 Nov.: Finland v Czech Rep. 3-5
4 Nov.: Switzerland v Finland 4-5 OT
4 Nov.: USA v Czech Rep. 6-2
5 Nov.: Czech Rep. v Sweden 3-4 OT
5 Nov.: USA v Finland 3-2
Standings: 1. USA 9, 2. Sweden 7, 3. Czech Rep. 7, 4. Finland 6, 5. Switzerland 2Druzhba Cup in Gomel
3 Nov.: Slovakia v Germany 5-4 SO
3 Nov.: Belarus v Denmark 5-1
4 Nov.: Denmark v Slovakia 1-2
4 Nov.: Germany v Belarus 2-4
5 Nov.: Denmark v Germany 2-5
5 Nov.: Belarus v Slovakia 3-0
Standings: 1. Belarus 9, 2. Slovakia 5, 3. Germany 4, 4. Denmark 0Four Nations Tournament in St. Polten
3 Nov.: Austria v Slovenia 5-1
3 Nov.: Hungary v Italy 4-2
4 Nov.: Italy v Slovenia 3-4 OT
4 Nov.: Austria v Hungary 5-2
5 Nov.: Slovenia v Hungary 1-2
5 Nov.: Austria v Italy 1-5
Standings: 1. Austria 6, 2. Hungary 6, 3. Italy 4, 4. Slovenia 2Other games:
4 Nov.: Ukraine v Poland 3-1