U.S. National Junior Team Downs Latvia, 5-2, in Tournament Opener

Latvia evened things up just before the five-minute mark, but the U.S. answered back at 9:17 to regain its lead when Behrens fired a one-timer from the point off a quick passing play between Savage and Duke.

Latvia tied the game with 5:36 to play in the middle frame with a shot from above the left circle through traffic, but Chaz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) scored what proved to be the game-winner 1:57 into the third, carrying the puck into the zone off a feed from Jackson Blake (Fargo, N.D.) and flipping a backhander into the net far side at the doorstep. Behrens also notched an assist on the play.

Savage doubled the U.S. lead at the 6:48 mark, sending home a rebound off a shot off an initial spin-o-rama shot from Duke in the high slot. Team USA captain Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich.) scored the final goal of the game at 13:29 when his wrister from the blue line bounced off the posted and into the net. Jack Peart (Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Charlie Stramel (Rosemount, Minn.) drew assists on the play.

Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) made 15 saves to earn the win in the U.S. net.

NOTES: Sean Behrens was named Team USA’s Player of the Game … The U.S. was 0-2 on the power play, while Latvia was 0-1 … Team USA outshot Latvia by a 46-17 count … A total of 10 different players contributed points.


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