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U.S. national U-17 team defeats Canada's Team Atlantic at Hockey Challenge

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LONDON, Ont. - The U.S. national under-17 team blew out Canada's Team Atlantic 8-0 in the opening game of the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Saturday.

Seven different players scored for the Americans (1-0-0), who finished second at the previous U-17 Hockey Challenge in Regina in 2006. Netminder Brandon Maxwell made 23 saves for the shutout.

"It was a really strong team effort today," said U.S. head coach Ron Rolston. "We have to play that way consistently in the coming days, as this is a really tough tournament."

Jeremy Morin scored a pair while Drew Shore, Sam Calabrese, Kyle Palmieri, Steven Whitney, Jerry D'Amigo and Kevin Lynch added singles. The U.S. outshot Team Atlantic (0-1-0) by a 54-23 margin.

In other action Saturday, Teemu Pulkkinen had a hat trick to lead Finland past defending-champion Team Quebec 8-5 in Lucan, Ont. Toni Rajala added a pair for the Finns (1-0-0), while Jere Laaksonen, Tommi Kivisto and Erik Huala had singles.

Louis Leblanc scored twice for Quebec (0-1-0), with singles going to Etienne Brodeur, Mathieu Gingras and Gleason Fournier.

At London, Andrew Agozzino scored twice to lead Team Ontario to a 4-2 win over Team Pacific. Ryan Ellis and Taylor Hall added first-period goals for Team Ontario (1-0-0), while Ryan O'Reilly had two assists in the victory.

Evander Kane and Dillon Wagner answered for Team Pacific (0-1-0).

At Lucan, Brayden Schenn broke a tie late in the second period as Team West edged Germany 3-2. Jimmy Bubnick and Mason Wilgosh added goals for the West (1-0-0), while Marc Kohl and Andreas Baumer scored for Germany (0-1-0).

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