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U.S. defeats Finland to reach semifinals at Ivan Hlinka

Wednesday, 08.13.2014 / 12:17 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2015 NHL Draft blog

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2015 NHL Draft blog
U.S. defeats Finland to reach semifinals at Ivan Hlinka

The United States Under-18 select team scored five goals on 10 shots in the third period on the way to a 9-4 victory against Finland in preliminary-round action in Group A of the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup on Wednesday at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia.

The victory sets up a semifinal-round showdown against rival Canada on Friday at Zimny Stadion. Canada scored a 4-0 victory against the United States in the championship game last year to win a record sixth straight Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. The Canadians also earned a 3-2 victory against the United States in the gold-medal game at the 2012 tournament.

Center Thomas Novak, who is committed to the University of Minnesota for 2015-16, had two goals and two assists to lead the Americans against Finland. The 6-foot, 174-pound forward, who will play for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League this season, gave the United States a 5-3 lead on an unassisted goal 2:19 into the third.

The Finns pulled to within 5-4 when right wing Sebastian Aho, named to NHL Central Scouting's Futures List of top prospects eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, fired a shot home at 4:30. The U.S. then scored four unanswered goals by Dennis Yan at 13:39, Troy Terry at 13:54, Brock Boeser at 16:47 and Terry again at 17:54. Terry, a member of the National Team Development Program U-18 team, finished with three goals. He is committed to the University of Denver in 2015-16.

Boeser, also named to Central Scouting's Futures List, had a goal and an assist and U.S. goaltender Evan Sarthou made 27 saves. The United States outshot Finland 44-31.

Finland, which also received goals by center Jonne Tammela, left wing Petrus Palmu and defenseman Vili Saarijarvi, will next play Switzerland in the fifth-place game Friday. Tammela and Saarijarvi were also listed on Central Scouting's Futures List as players to watch for the 2015 draft.

Sweden 7, Switzerland 2: Defenseman Lucas Carlsson, named to Central Scouting's Futures List as a top prospect eligible for the 2015 draft, had a goal and one assist in preliminary-round action in Group B at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia.

Sweden now advances to play the Czech Republic in the tournament semifinal round Friday. Switzerland will face Finland in the fifth-place game Friday.

Center Jonathan Dahlen, who was named Sweden's player of the game, had two goals in the victory. Dahlen, who scored on the first shot of the game 1:04 into the first period, isn't draft-eligible until 2016. Jonathan Davidsson, Joel Ek Eriksson, Oliver Erixon and and Anton Kalte also scored for Sweden. The Swedes built a 4-1 lead in the first when they outshot the Swiss, 21-5.

Fabio Hollenstein and Damien Riat scored for Switzerland, which was outshot 42-19.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres