The U.S. National Under-18 Team notched its fourth Five Nations Tournament title in five years on Sunday when Reid Boucher scored three goals to lead the Americans to a 7-4 victory over Finland in its fourth and final game at Hradec Kralove Arena in Czech Republic.
Team USA, which finished 4-0-0 in the tournament, scored three goals in the second to open a 5-3 advantage. The Americans overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 against Finland in the tournament finale.
"I'm so proud of our guys after a very successful event," said coach Ron Rolston. "The experience that these players gain at these international tournaments will stay with them throughout their hockey careers and lives."
Blake Pietila scored twice in the first as the U.S. and Finland ended the opening 20 minutes in a 2-2 deadlock. Boucher tallied his first goal to give Team USA a 3-2 lead early in the second period. After another Finland tally, Cole Bardreau and Adam Reid scored to give the U.S. a 5-3 lead after two.
The U.S. defeated Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic and Finland en route to the tournament title, outscoring its four foes, 26-11, in the process. Forward Rocco Grimaldi, No. 25 on NHL Central Scouting's mid-term list for North American skaters eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft, and Boucher led the U.S. with 5 goals apiece. Boucher totaled 10 points and Grimaldi finished with 9 points.
Scoring By Period
USA---2 - 3 - 2 - 7
FIN----2 - 1 - 1 - 4
First Period: Scoring: 1, FIN, Hannikainen (Rekonen, Maatta), 1.46; 2, USA, Pietila (unassisted), 7:31; 3, FIN, Hannikainen (Rekonen, Maatta), 10:36; 4, USA, Pietila (Bardreau, Haggerty), 19:26. Penalties: None.
Second Period: Scoring: 5, USA, Boucher (Grimaldi), 1:18; 6, FIN, Jarvelainen (Pokka), 2:48; 7, USA, Bardreau (Pietila), 7:13; 8, USA, Reid (Boyd, Paliotta), 17:45. Penalties: FIN, Lamberg (slashing), 5:05; FIN, Leino (interferece), 13:39.
Third Period: Scoring: 9, USA, Boucher (Miller, Fiala), 5:16; 10, USA, Boucher (Miller), 10:19; 11, FIN, Aaltonen (Wilenius), 18:59. Penalties: FIN, Maatta (holding), 7:59; USA, Pietila (slashing), 11:05.