U.S. National Junior Team Tops Finland to Earn Top Seed in Group B

Finland answered back just over a minute later on the power play, with a wrister that deflected off the crossbar and in.

With the U.S. on the power play early in the second, Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.) capitalized. Team USA captain Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich.) carried the puck down center ice and into the zone, then made a drop pass to McGroarty, who sent a one-timer through the five-hole at 4:57.

Snuggerud made it 3-1 for the U.S. at 9:02 after stealing the puck from a Finnish defender, making a quick spin in the slot, and firing home a backhander from the bottom of the left circle.

Hughes gave the U.S. a 4-1 lead with 5:12 left in the period, burying a wrist shot from just above the right circle. Cooley and Snuggerud each tallied an assist on the goal. Finland scored with 4:45 left in the middle frame and the U.S. had a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes.

Cooley found the back of the net 3:55 into the third, banging home a rebound from the slot off after an initial shot from Snuggerud. Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) earned an assist as well.

Lane Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) rounded out scoring with 3:45 remaining in the game, sending the puck short side off a backhand feed from Snuggerud to bring the final tally to 6-2. Cooley picked up his second assist of the game on the play.

Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) finished with 29 saves in the U.S. net.

NOTES: Jimmy Snuggerud was named the U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. was 1-3 on the power play, while Finland was 1-5 … Finland outshot the U.S. by a 31-30 count … Ten different U.S. players recorded points … For Team USA’s roster and schedule, click here.


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