Nicolas Kerdiles scored twice, including the decisive goal late in the second period, to give the U.S. National Under-18 Team a 3-2 victory against Sweden in the opener of the 2011 U-18 Four Nations Tournament at Monthey Arena in Monthey, Switzerland.
"I'm proud of our team and how they persevered against a very talented team. We will take what we learned (Friday) and apply it as we move forward in the tournament." -- U.S. coach Danton Cole
The University of Wisconsin-bound Kerdiles, who is considered a top prospect for the 2012 NHL Draft, scored his second straight goal 17:32 into the second off assists by Seth Jones (2013 draft eligible) and Brady Skjei (2012 eligible). Goalie Jared Rutledge (2012 eligible) finished with 24 saves, including seven in the third.
"I'm proud of our team and how they persevered against a very talented team," U.S. coach Danton Cole
said. "We will take what we learned (Friday) and apply it as we move forward in the tournament."
Sweden took a 1-0 lead when Andre Burakovsky (2013 eligible) struck for a power-play goal 7:18 into the first. The U.S. evened the score at 13:58 when Cameron Darcy (2012 eligible) scored.
Sweden's Jacob Spangberg then scored a power-play goal with 51 seconds remaining to give his team a 2-1 lead. Kerdiles connected for his first of two goals 11:29 into the second to square the contest for Team USA.
The U.S., which won the tournament the past three years, next plays Finland at 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday.