Game Preview - Team USA U-18

From a statistical standpoint, this series means virtually nothing.  But from a team growth standpoint, this game is essential.

Team USA hasn't done great thus far this year against teams in the WCHA, going 0-3-1 with their closest result being with the Gophers, finishing in a 1-1 tie.  I think this is an excellent chance for the Bulldogs to be able to experiment with new ideas and lines that may solve issues in scoring and Saturday's chemistry.

Photo: Dave Harwig

Overview:

The Team USA Under-18's shutout Michigan State 3 to 0 on Tuesday in their most recent game, extending their winning streak to 4 games.  To be honest I can't tell ya a whole lot about this team because I've never actually seen them play, but these are very talented players whom could potentially be ready to play at the NCAA level.  Top Scorers...

Pos.
(GP) G-A-Pts.
Pts/G
Tyler Kelleher
F
(33) 15-14-29
0.88
Anthony Louis
F
(30) 11-12-23
0.77
Tyler Motte
F
(33) 15-10-25
0.76
Will Butcher
D
(33) 6-8-14
0.42
Connor Clifton
D
(33) 4-5-9
0.27
Pos.
(GP) GAA/Sv%
Mins.
Thatcher Demko
G
(22) 2.41/.900
1246


Also, for those of you who are going to the game and like to follow college hockey as a whole, I'll list every person on the roster with this year's stats and where they're planning on play college puck at.

Name
Pos.
GP
G
A
Pts.
Pts/G
College
Tyler Kelleher
F
37
17
18
35
0.95
New Hampshire
J.T. Compher
F
22
6
14
20
0.91
Michigan
Sean Malone
F
25
12
10
22
0.88
Harvard
Anthony Louis
F
32
15
13
28
0.88
Miami Ohio
John Hayden
F
23
5
13
18
0.78
Yale
Evan Allen
F
37
13
13
26
0.70
Michigan
Tyler Motte
F
37
15
11
26
0.70
Michigan
Hudson Fasching
F
35
9
11
20
0.57
Minnesota
Kevin Labanc
F
37
7
11
18
0.49
Notre Dame
Michael McCarron
F
32
5
10
15
0.47
Western Michigan
Shane Eiserman
F
33
8
7
15
0.45
New Hampshire
Dawson Cook
F
29
3
5
8
0.28
Notre Dame
Name
Pos.
GP
G
A
Pts.
Pts/G
College
Will Butcher
D
37
7
13
20
0.54
Denver
Connor Clifton
D
37
4
9
13
0.35
Quinnipiac
Keaton Thompson
D
37
2
10
12
0.32
North Dakota
Steven Santini
D
37
0
11
11
0.30
Boston College
Trevor Hamilton
D
30
1
5
6
0.20
Miami Ohio
Gage Ausmus
D
36
0
7
7
0.19
Denver
Scott Savage
D
37
1
5
6
0.16
Boston College
Clint Lewis
D
32
0
5
5
0.16
Cornell


Name
Pos.
GP
Mins.
GAA
SV%
College
Thatcher Demko
G
25
1426
2.10
0.911
Boston College
Hunter Miska
G
15
828
2.97
0.857
*


And then there were a couple of players that did play a couple of games with this team, but went on to play elsewhere like for their high school or junior teams.  Those players are listed below.

Name
GP
G
A
Pts.
Pts/G
College
Vinni Lettieri
2
2
2
4
2.00
Minnesota
Frankie Vatrano
5
0
4
4
0.80
U. Mass
Nolan Stevens
4
1
0
1
0.25
*
Blake Christensen
13
2
1
3
0.23
*
Connor Hurley
10
1
1
2
0.20
Notre Dame
Ryan Fitzgerald
5
1
0
1
0.20
Boston College
Michael Babcock
5
0
0
0
0.00
*
Jacob Pritchard
4
0
0
0
0.00
*
Kiefer Sherwood
4
0
0
0
0.00
Miami Ohio
Tom Marchin
4
0
0
0
0.00
*
Karson Kuhlman
2
0
0
0
0.00
Minnesota Duluth
Mike Laffin
2
0
0
0
0.00
*
Nicolas Kerdiles
2
0
0
0
0.00
*
Tyler Young
2
0
0
0
0.00
*


So that's about it for our opponents on Saturday, let's move on...

Last weekend I predicted a split for Minnesota Duluth, but I was a little saddened by the final score on Saturday.  After winning 3-2 on Friday night, something must have happened during the night because Saturday's loss to Colorado College ended 1-5.  So, whether it was due to minor injuries or what, I hope this weekend is used to really work out any kinks as the Bulldogs continue to battle for home ice in the WCHA.  Top Scorers...

Pos.
(GP) G-A-Pts.
Pts/G
Mike Seidel
F
(24) 12-11-23
0.96
Tony Cameranesi (TOR)
F
(24) 10-12-22
0.92
Austin Farley
F
(22) 8-9-17
0.77
Wade Bergman
D
(23) 2-13-15
0.65
Andy Welinski (ANA)
D
(24) 2-9-11
0.46
Pos.
(GP) GAA/Sv%
Mins.
Matt McNeely
G
(16) 2.60/.898
945


Let's Compare:

Bulldogs
U.S. Under-18
10-11-3
...Overall...
22-11-4
8-7-3
WCHA
0-3-1
5-4-1
Home
//
5-5-2
Away
//
2.67
Avg. Offense
3.65
2.83
Avg. Defense
2.49
16.5
PIM/G
15.1
22.4%
Power Play
17.9%
83.7%
Penalty Kill
84.8%
33.2
Shots/G
36.0
26.0
Opponent S/G
23.0


The Verdict:

As much as I would love to say this is going to be an easy, Saturday afternoon win, it has the potential to not be.  There is no doubt this team has got plenty of talent.  If this were a series game that actually had some meaning to it, I woud say the Dogs would win.  But, being this game doesn't mean very much giving tUMD a chance to try some new things, the minors just might have a chance to capitalize on errors from those new trials.  So this ones up in the air!

The game starts at 2:07 and can be view on My9 if you live in the Duluth area, or on the Radio/online at 94x.


Go Dogs!!

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