April 18, 2004
U.S. Takes Silver in Under-18 World Championship

The U.S. National Under-18 Team fell to Russia, 3-2, in the gold medal game of the Under-18 World Championship Sunday in Minsk, Belarus. The team, featuring a roster stocked with future college players, captures the silver medal in the tournament, its second medal in three years after winning gold in 2002.

U.S. Under-18 Team
College Commitments
Matt Auffrey Wisconsin
Mike Brennan Boston College
Nathan Davis Miami
Jeff Frazee Minnesota
Tom Fritsche Ohio State
Nathan Gerbe Boston College
Joe Grimaldi Nebraska-Omaha
Nate Hagemo Minnesota
Jack Johnson Michigan
Chad Kolarik Michigan
Bryan Lerg Michigan
Geoff Paukovich Denver
Kevin Porter Michigan
Brandon Scero Ohio State
Corey Schneider Boston College
Jack Skille Wisconsin

With the scored tied, 1-1, after two periods, Russia tallied two goals in a 1:06 span to seal the victory. Team USA climbed to within one goal with :38 remaining on a marker by forward Phil Kessel, and then the U.S. notched what initially appeared to be the game-tying goal with just seconds remaining before it was disallowed due to a dislodged net.

The contest represented the third straight year that the U.S. and Russia have met in a medal game at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship, and the second time in three years that the United States has qualified for the finals. The U.S. defeated Russia to take home the gold medal in 2002, and last year lost in the bronze-medal game, finishing fourth.

The U.S. opened the scoring in the first period on a power-play blast from Nate Hagemo that bested Russian goaltender Anton Khudobin. Hagemo, positioned on the left point, received a pass along the blue line from Kevin Porter to set up the tally.

Russia evened the score, 1-1, at 6:53 of the second period as Kiriff Lyamin beat U.S. goaltender Cory Schneider.

In the final session Roman Voloshenko registered an even-strength goal while Dimitri Shitikov tallied on a power play to put Russia up 3-1.

In a frantic final two minutes, the U.S. made it 3-2 at the 58:22 mark of the game as Kessel scored his seventh goal of the event. Kessel, attacking the right side of the Russian defensive zone, released a wrist shot past the glove of the Khudobin.

The U.S., with goaltender Schneider pulled for an extra attacker, then scored what appeared to be the game-tying goal with a few seconds left in
the game, but the goal was waved off.

"This team can be proud that they fought until the absolute last second of this game and all the games they played in the tournament," said U.S.
head coach John Hynes, who was the assistant at Wisconsin until midway through this season.

Kessel, who at 16 was one of the younger players in the tournament, led all goal scorers and amassed 10 points (7-3) in six games to finish fifth overall in scoring.

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