Jordan Masters and Alex Galchenyuk scored in a shootout as the U.S. Under-18 select team beat Slovakia 6-5 in their final preliminary-round match of the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament at Zimny Stadium in Piestany, Slovakia.
Despite beating Russia in overtime on Tuesday and the shootout win against Slovakia, the U.S. can finish no higher than fifth after placing third in Group B with two overtime wins and one regulation loss. The Americans, who battled back from a two-goal deficit on three occasions against Slovakia, will play Friday against the Czech Republic.
Masters, of the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the United States Hockey League, and Galchenyuk, of the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting, scored in a span of 55 seconds with less than five minutes remaining in the third period to force the overtime. John Gillies, of the USHL's Indiana Ice, turned aside 26 shots, including nine in the second period. He stopped both attempts in shootout.
"I'm extremely proud of our guys for overcoming so much adversity today," U.S. coach Seth Appert said. "We stuck together through penalties and after falling behind a couple of times, and came away with a big win."