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Bennett Stars Again For Team USA

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins
Team USA improved its record to 2-0 on Wednesday as they continue to host the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. Once again, Penguins’ 2010 first-round draft pick Beau Bennett helped lead the charge.

Bennett picked up two more assists on Wednesday as the Americans downed Finland, 6-3, in the second of a four-game mini-series between the United States, Finland and Sweden.

The 18-year-old Bennett, who also had two assists in the United States’ 6-3 victory over Sweden on Tuesday, currently leads the Americans in scoring with four assists through two games.

Team USA already led 1-0 midway through the first period against the Finns when Bennett and Justin Faulk combined to set up Bjugstad for the first of his two goals.

Bennett also factored into the Americans’ sixth goal when he picked up the primary assist on Bjugstad’s second tally of the contest during the third period.

Defenseman Philip Samuelsson, the Penguins’ 2009 second-round draft pick, also suited up for his second straight game for the Americans.

Three Team USA players with Pittsburgh ties – forward Brandon Saad (Gibsonia) and defensemen Stephen Johns (Wampum) and Patrick Wey (Mt. Lebanon) – also contributed to the United States’ victory. Saad recorded an assist on Brock Nelson’s second-period tally.

Bennett and the Americans are off on Thursday before completing Evaluation Camp with 4 p.m. matchups with Sweden on Friday and Finland on Saturday.

The 28 participants at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, which runs from August 2 through August 7, are auditioning for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship starting in late December in Buffalo, N.Y.

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