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U.S. wins fifth straight U18 Four Nations Tourney title

by Mike G. Morreale /

The U.S. National Under-18 Team received goals from three different players en route to a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the championship game of the U18 Four Nations Tournament on Saturday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

Evan Allen, John Hayden and Michael McCarron each scored goals and goalie Thatcher Demko made 22 saves to lead the U.S. to its fifth straight tournament title. Demko, the U.S. Player of the Game, stopped 10 shots in the third period.

Allen scored a power-play goal 8:56 into the first to give the U.S. a 1-0 edge before Hayden extended the lead to 2-0 at 3:51 of the second. Sweden pulled to within 2-1 at the 2:45 mark of the third when Altelius Nylander connected for a power-play goal, but McCarron answered right back for the Americans at 10:52 with his team working the power-play.

"I'm proud of how we played as a team throughout the entire tournament," said U.S. coach Don Granato. "We need to build off these games and continue to improve as we move forward."

The U.S. held a 44-23 advantage in shots and denied Sweden on eight of nine power-play opportunities, including a five-on-three disadvantage to start the second.

Sweden goalie Ebbe Sionas turned aside 41 shots in the loss. On the way to its tournament-winning performance, the United States was led in scoring by Tyler Kelleher, Anthony Louis and Sean Malone, who finished with five points apiece in four tournament games.

In the consolation game, Switzerland scored a 5-2 win over Finland as Jason Fuchs scored a pair of goals and goalie Nicola Aeberhard turned aside 35 shots.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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