Nicolas Kerdiles scored a pair of goals and goalie Jared Rutledge made 29 saves when the U.S. National Under-18 Team scored a 6-2 victory over Switzerland to earn its fourth consecutive U18 Four Nations Tournament title on Sunday in Monthey, Switzerland.
"I am extremely proud of how our guys played together as a team," said U.S. coach Danton Cole. "Everything came together at the right time and we hope to build off these wins as we move forward with our upcoming schedule."
Kerdiles, who is projected to be a highly coveted prospect for the 2012 Draft in Pittsburgh, topped all players in the three-game tournament with 5 goals and 5 points. U.S. defenseman Connor Carrick led all defenders in the tournament with 3 points. With the victory, the U.S. has now captured the tournament title the past four years.
Team USA opened a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Connor Carrick at 6:25, Matthew Lane at 13:19 and Brendan Silk with just 13 seconds left in the opening 20 minutes.
Switzerland pulled within 3-1 to open the second before Kerdiles scored his first of the game. Riley Barber, who led all skaters in the tournament with a plus-5 rating, then connected to extend the lead to 5-1 before Kerdiles scored his second of the game at 4:49 of the third.
The U.S. U18 Team returns to action on Friday against the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League at 7 p.m. EST at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.