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Minney backstops U.S. to Five Nations title

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

Edwin Minney, one of the top goaltender prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft, made 20 saves and the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-2 on Saturday to win the 2014 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.

The U.S. jumped to an early lead on Joe Wegworth's goal 4:15 into the game. Dylan Pavelek scored at 15:51 of the first to make it 2-0 and Brandon Fortunato's goal with 47 seconds remaining in the opening period gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The Czechs responded with two goals in just over a minute in the second period to make it a one-goal game, with top European draft prospect Jakub Vrana having a hand in both scores. Vrana, No. 5 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of European skaters for the 2014 draft, scored a power-play goal at 7:30 of the second. Just 64 seconds later, Vrana set up Filip Pyrochta for a goal at 8:34.

The Americans tightened up in the third period, allowing the Czechs just three shots. Minney, No. 2 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders for the 2014 draft, stopped all three shots in the third. In two games at the tournament, Minney went 2-0-0 while allowing five goals on 50 shots for a .900 save percentage.

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