Lambton Shores, Ont.
FOUR GOALS IN FIRST HELP U.S. TO WIN OVER CANADA RED, FIRST PLACE
LAMBTON SHORES, Ont. – Clayton Keller recorded four points for the second night in a row, scoring a hat trick and adding an assist, leading the United States to a 7-3 win over Canada Red in the Group B preliminary round finale Tuesday night at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The win leaves the Americans as the lone team to finish group play with the maximum nine points, and means the U.S. will face Canada Black in a Thursday quarter-final at The Shores Recreation Centre (3 p.m. ET).
Canada Red, which could have clinched first with a victory, instead finish second and will take on Russia in Thursday’s late quarter-final in Lambton Shores (7 p.m. ET).
In total, six American skaters recorded at least two points; in addition to Keller’s four-point night, Max Jones had two goals and an assist, Kailer Yamamoto finished with a goal and a helper, and Joey Anderson and Luke Martin had two helpers apiece.
Keenan Suthers had the other U.S. goal, while Joseph Woll made 30 saves to record the win.
Adam Mascherin (Maple, Ont./Kitchener, OHL), William Bitten (Gloucester, Ont./Plymouth, OHL) and Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam, B.C./Penticton, BCHL) were the Canada Red goal scorers.
After combining for seven first-period goals in its first two games, Canada Red found itself on the other end of the goal barrage Tuesday, as the Americans found the back of the net four times in the opening 20 minutes.
Jones opened the scoring at 4:05, converting his own rebound, Keller snapped a wrist shot under the cross bar at 6:20, Yamamoto converted a pretty pass from Patrick Khodorenko at 12:21, and Jones capped a busy period with his second goal at 18:42, one-timing a shot past Canadian goaltender Dylan Wells (St. Catharines, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) on a U.S. power play.
Keller added a fifth American goal just 1:44 into the second period, redirecting a pass from Nick Pastujov, before Canada Red finally got on the board off the stick of Mascherin, who beat Woll from the slot on a Canadian power play.
Suthers restored the five-goal lead before the end of the second, redirecting a Keeghan Howdeshell point shot past Wells for a 6-1 advantage after 40 minutes.
Bitten tipped in a Tye Felhaber (Pembroke, Ont./Saginaw, OHL) feed, and Fabbro converted on a two-man advantage to get Canada Red to within three at 6-3, but Keller’s hat trick goal with less than five minutes to go provided the final margin of victory.