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Minney backstops U.S. to Five Nations title

Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 1:55 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2014 NHL Draft blog

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2014 NHL Draft blog
Minney backstops U.S. to Five Nations title

Edwin Minney, one of the top goaltender prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft, made 20 saves and the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-2 on Saturday to win the 2014 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.

The U.S. jumped to an early lead on Joe Wegworth's goal 4:15 into the game. Dylan Pavelek scored at 15:51 of the first to make it 2-0 and Brandon Fortunato's goal with 47 seconds remaining in the opening period gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The Czechs responded with two goals in just over a minute in the second period to make it a one-goal game, with top European draft prospect Jakub Vrana having a hand in both scores. Vrana, No. 5 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of European skaters for the 2014 draft, scored a power-play goal at 7:30 of the second. Just 64 seconds later, Vrana set up Filip Pyrochta for a goal at 8:34.

The Americans tightened up in the third period, allowing the Czechs just three shots. Minney, No. 2 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders for the 2014 draft, stopped all three shots in the third. In two games at the tournament, Minney went 2-0-0 while allowing five goals on 50 shots for a .900 save percentage.