WHITE, BRACCO LEAD UNITED STATES PAST ATLANTIC
by Wendy Graves
SYDNEY, N.S. – Colin White had two goals and three assists and Jeremy Bracco scored twice as the United States defeated Atlantic 9-1 at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on New Year’s Eve.
Auston Matthews, Luke Kunin, Christian Evers, Luke Kirwan and Christian Fischer also scored for the Americans. Brendan Warren and Caleb Jones added two assists a piece.
Kyle Ward (Sackville, N.B./Moncton, NBPEIMMHL) scored the lone goal for Atlantic. Alexandre Jacob (Dieppe, N.B./Moncton, NBPEIMMHL) and Adam Holwell (St. John’s, N.L./Moncton, LHJMQ) had the assists.
White opened the scoring 3:41 into the first period. After picking up the puck just inside the blue line, he skated around a defender and fired a wrist shot past goalie Frederic Foulem (Dieppe, N.B./Stanstead College, Cdn. Prep).
The United States controlled play throughout the first period, and its dominance was rewarded at the 11:41 mark. Christian Fischer passed the puck off the side boards to Matthews in the low slot for a one-timer and a 2-0 American lead.
After Kunin made it 3-0 early in the second, two minutes later a point shot by Kirwan bounced off the glass right to the goalie’s doorstep, where Bracco was waiting to punch it in.
While Bracco’s goal was still being announced, the United States found the back of the net again. Foulem never saw Evers’ wrist shot from the top of the circle.
Kirwan made it 6-0 United States with a power play goal 14:30 into the second period. With the Americans controlling the attacking zone, White fed Kirwan between the face-off circles. A quick flick-of-the-wrist later the puck was hitting twine.
The home team finally gave the crowd reason to cheer four minutes into the third. With Atlantic on the power play, Ward finished a nice passing play to put his team on the board.
The Americans responded three minutes later on the penalty kill, with Bracco scoring his second of the game.
White, with a backhand in close, and Fischer, who pounced off a deflection off an Atlantic player’s chest, finished the scoring.
Atlantic next plays Germany on New Year’s Day in Sydney (2 p.m. AT). The United States gets Wednesday off before wrapping up its preliminary round against Ontario in Sydney on Thursday night (7 p.m. ET).