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U.S. advances to U18 Four Nations Tourney final

by Mike G. Morreale

Anthony Louis scored a pair of unassisted goals in the third period to lead the U.S. National Under-18 Team into the 2012 U18 Four Nations Tournament championship following a 5-3 victory over Sweden on Friday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

Sweden pulled to within 3-2 on a power-play goal by Robert Hagg 1:26 into the third before Louis converted a wraparound at the 12:52 mark. Hagg then scored his second of the game to cut the deficit to one at 17:23 before his team pulled the goalie for an extra attacker. Louis then completed the scoring on an empty-net goal with 12 seconds remaining.

The United States finished pool play with a 2-0-1 record and will play Sweden on Saturday in the tournament final at 7 p.m. ET. Finland will battle Switzerland in the third place game at 3:30 p.m.

        Forward Hudson Fasching, Team USA

Forward Hudson Fasching, who scored once, was named Team USA's Player of the Game, and Tyler Kelleher had a goal and one assist in the triumph. Goalie Thatcher Demko made 32 saves, including 10 in the opening 20 minutes.

"The team showed a lot of character tonight in bouncing back from a tough setback last game," said U.S. coach Don Granato. "We'll get some rest and come back ready to go to work in the morning. We will have to play smart and disciplined to earn the tournament title tomorrow."

The U.S. opened a 1-0 edge in the first on a goal by Sean Malone, who banged in a rebound, at the 12:23 mark. John Hayden and Louis assisted on the play. Sweden goalie Ebbe Sionas made 38 saves in the loss.

The U.S. captured first place at the 2011 U18 Four Nations Tournament held in Monthey, Switzerland, and has claimed the tournament title four straight years.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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