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Team USA Carries Momentum Through Weekend

PLYMOUTH, MI - FEBRUARY 16: Jack Hughes #43 of the USA Nationals turns up ice with the puck against the Russian Nationals during the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on February 16, 2018 in Plymouth, Michigan. USA defeated Russia 5-4. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Jack Hughes

Team USA carried their momentum through the weekend by defeating Russia 3-1 on Sunday and the Czech Republic 4-3 Monday. 

USA vs. Russia

In one of the most anticipated games of the tournament, Team USA faced an uphill battle by taking on Russia. Russia was coming off of a 6-0 victory over Canada, who the US team lost to just a few days prior.

After the first frame, the game was still tied 0-0. In the second, a period that’s given USA some problems, they found their stride and scored two goals to Russia’s zero. Both goals came within six seconds of each other. Arthur Kaliyev and Nicholas Robertson scored while Trevor Zegras, Cole Caufield, and Oliver Wahlstrom recorded an assist.

Kaliyev, a second-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings, Robertson, a second-round pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Zegras, the ninth overall pick by the Anaheim Ducks, Caufield, the 15th overall pick by the Montreal Canadiens, and Wahlstrom, the 11th overall pick by the New York Islanders.

In the third period, Jack Drury recorded an assist on Kaliyev’s second goal of the game along with Zegras’ second assist. Drury was a second-round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes. After conceding their first goal two minutes later, Team USA would end up winning 3-1.

USA vs Czech Republic

In Monday’s game, Team USA was pushed to the brink against the Czech Republic. It took all 60 minutes and 3:14 of overtime to decide the victor.

In the first period, the tournament’s leading scorer was at it again. Shane Pinto scored the game’s first goal 3:45 in off of an assist from Nicholas Robertson and Oliver Wahlstrom. Unfortunately, they conceded two goals in the first period and found themselves trailing 2-1 entering the second period.

For the second time in as many games, USA shutdown their opponent in the second period and scored two goals. Arthur Kaliyev and Jack Drury were responsible for the second-period goals. K’Andre Miller and Trevor Zegras assisted on the first goal. Kaliyev and Zegras assisted on the second. Miller was the 22nd overall pick by the New York Rangers. With Team USA’s two goals in the second, they held the lead heading into the third period, 3-2.

In the final frame, USA allowed one goal eight minutes into the period to tie the game at 3-3. Without any more goals scored in the third period and the game tied, overtime was on the horizon. In overtime, Cole Caufield received a pass from Alex Turcotte and buried it in the back of the net for the game-winner. Turcotte was the fifth overall pick by the Los Angeles Kings.

Team USA Tournament Leaders

Trevor Zegras leads all tournament players with nine points, all assists. Shane Pinto is in third with seven points, four goals and three assists. Arthur Kaliyev is in fifth place with six points, four goals and two assists.

Goaltender Spencer Knight is in fifth place for his position having gave up nine goals in 182 minutes of ice time.

What’s Up Next for Team USA

Having won three of their four preliminary games, Team USA won group B, and will now await the results of Tuesday’s games to determine who and when they’ll play.

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