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.