LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Paced by a pair of Kenny Ryan (Franklin Village, Mich.) goals and Kyle Palmieri's (Montvale, N.J.) game-winner in round one of the shootout, the U.S. National Under-18 Team earned a 5-4 victory over Finland at the 2008 Men's Under-18 Four Nations Cup here tonight at the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena. With the win, Team USA remained undefeated in the tournament, with a 1-1-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.
"Our team found a way to win tonight," said Ron Rolston, head coach for Team USA. "As in every international tournament, the most important game is the next one and we look forward to playing Sweden on Friday."
Finland took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Mikael Granlund directed a quick pass to Toni Rajala, who was waiting at the goal line just to the right of the U.S. net. Rajala put a quick wrist shot behind Team USA netminder Brandon Maxwell (Winter Park, Fla.) at 8:00. The Finns went up 2-0 at 14:05 as Joni Karjalainen snuck around the back of the net and shoved one inside the right post.
The United States used a power-play opportunity to cut Finland's lead in half later in the frame. Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) took a shot from the left faceoff circle and Drew Shore (Denver, Colo.) tapped the rebound into the open right side of the net past Finnish goaltender Joni Ortio at 16:29. Just 25 seconds later, Team USA knotted the score at 2-2 with a goal from Kenny Ryan (Franklin Village, Mich.).
Finland took a 3-2 edge just 27 seconds into period two when Rajala converted on a 2-on-1 opportunity. Team USA came back minutes later to make it a 3-3 count. Maxwell played the puck up the ice while the United States was up a man and connected with Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.), who pushed the puck up to Ryan at Finland's blue line. Ryan walked in and put it short side at 3:07.
Team USA took its first lead of the outing at 10:50 of the second when Chris McCarthy (Collegeville, Pa.) found a diving David Valek (Orem, Utah) in the goal mouth. Finland scored at 13:07 for a 4-4 score before Team USA withstood four minutes of a Finnish two-man advantage caused by a series of U.S. penalties.
The score remained 4-4 throughout the third stanza, thus forcing an extra session. In the 4-on-4 five-minute sudden-death overtime, both goalies again held strong, as the game went to a shootout.
In the three-man first round, Granlund scored for Finland first, followed by a successful attempt by Team USA's Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.). Next, Finland's Rajala was stopped by Maxwell, then Palmieri tallied the eventual game-winner, as Finland's final shot by Sami Vatanen missed the net.
Team USA returns to action at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, when it takes on Sweden at the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena.
NOTES:Kenny Ryan earned U.S. Player of the Game honors ... The United States out shot Finland by a 34-30 margin ... Team USA was 2-for-11 on the power play, while holding Finland scoreless on eight opportunities ... The 2008 Women's Four Nations Cup is running simultaneously with the 2008 Men's Under-18 Four Nations Cup at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid.
Scoring By Period
First Period - Scoring: 1, FIN, Rajala (Granlund), 8:00; 2, FIN, Karjalainen (unassisted), 14:05; 3, USA, Shore (Morin, Fowler), 16:29 (pp); 4, USA, Ryan (Lynch, Rempel), 16:54. Penalties: USA, D'Amigo (goalie interference), 1:10; FIN, Rissanen (roughing), 1:10; USA, Granlund (hooking), 3:07; FIN, Rissanen (interference), 11:14; USA, Bourque (cross checking), 11:49; USA, Palmieri (roughing), 15:30; FIN, Aaltonen (holding the stick), 15:30; FIN, Aaltonen (holding), 15:30; USA, Brown (roughing), 18:42; FIN, Karmeniemi (holding), 19:30.
Second Period - Scoring: 5, FIN, Rajala (Granlund), :27 (4x4); 6, Ryan (Palmieri, Maxwell), 3:07 (pp); 7, Valek (McCarthy), 10:50; 8, FIN, Manelius (Granlund), 13:07 (4x4). Penalties: FIN, Laaksonen (hooking), 2:20; USA, Valek (interference), 3:54; FIN, Vatanen (hooking), 7:36; FIN, Rissanen (cross checking), 11:39; USA, D'Amigo (5-minute major - hitting from behind), 12:34; USA, D'Amigo (game misconduct), 12:34; USA, Ryan (hooking), 13:34; USA, Maxwell (roughing), 14:44.
Third Period - Scoring: None. Penalties: USA, Brown (interference), 1:18; USA, McCarthy (goalie interference), 3:44; FIN, Donskoi (holding), 3:44; FIN, Virkkunen (interference), 5:09; FIN, Rissanen (tripping), 7:10; FIN, Team (delay of game), 7:15; FIN, Manelius (hooking), 12:46; FIN, Karmeniemi (hooking), 13:25.
Overtime - Scoring: None. Penalties: None.
GWS - Round 1: FIN, Granlund (goal); USA, Morin (goal); FIN, Rajala (saved); USA, Palmieri (goal); FIN, Vatanen (saved).
|Shots by Period||1||2||3||OT||GWS||Total|
|USA, Maxwell, 60:00||11-9||12-10||5-5||2-2||0-0||30-26|
|FIN, Tuohimaa, 60:00||8-6||9-7||13-13||3-3||1-0||34-29|
Power Play: USA 2-11; FIN 0-8
Penalties: USA 12-45; FIN 14-28
Officials: Referees-Keith Kaval, Tudor Floru; Linesmen-Bob Fryer, Robert Keltie