A three-goal spurt during the latter half of the second period boosted the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18’s past the Waterloo Black Hawks, 4-2, in Ann Arbor Saturday.
Cale Morris was sharp early in the Black Hawks’ net. The U-18’s outshot Waterloo 14-3 during the opening 20 minutes, but Morris stopped everything to keep the game scoreless through the first intermission.
Waterloo recorded the first goal of the contest when Niko Hildenbrand sprang Nick Swaney on a breakaway at 4:25. However, Team USA used power play production to tie the matchup then take the lead. At 10:44, Jack Roslovic capitalized on a feed originating from behind the Black Hawks goal. Just 1:20 later, back on the advantage, Auston Matthews struck from the slot. Matthews and Roslovic set up one final tally in the frame with 15.7 seconds remaining before intermission, a backhander by Matthew Tkachuk.
At 3:35 of the third period, HIldenbrand forced an offensive zone turnover, and Blake Christensen fired a shot into the net off the post.
Only 2:11 passed before Christian Fischer reestablished the home team’s two-goal margin, pulling the puck out of the left wing corner and slipping a chance past the left skate of Morris to complete the evening’s scoring.
Team USA outshot Waterloo 40-29. Morris made 36 saves.
On Saturday, the Black Hawks take the ice against the other half of the National Team Development Program, facing the Under-17 squad. The next Waterloo home game at Young Arena will be on Friday, March 13th versus the Dubuque Fighting Saints at 7:05 p.m.
For Friday’s box score, please click on the link below: