Golden Weekend for U.S.
Future college players grabbed the spotlight in three international tournaments over the weekend that each saw the United States skate away with gold medals.
Notre Dame recruit Vince Hinistroza was named tournament MVP as he led the U.S. to the gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge, the fourth win in the last five years of the event for the U.S. Hinostroza scored two goals and added two assists in the championship game win against Canada West, finishing the event with a tournament-leading eight points. Ian Brady, a Nebraska-Omaha recruit, also had eight points for the U.S., all assists.
Penn State commit Eamon McAdam posted all four wins in goal for the Americans, which were made up almost exclusively by USHL players (BC recruit Ryan Fitzgerald was the lone exception). Many of the opposing players on Canada's two entries were future college players as well. Hinostroza and Brady were joined by two future collegians from Canada West on the all-tournament team: North Dakota recruit Wade Murphy and uncommitted BCHL recruit Troy Stecher.
"This was a complete team victory," said Brett Larson, the Minnesota-Duluth alum who coached Team USA. "We got goals from our big scorers, everyone blocked shots and our goaltender made key saves. I thought the turning point of the game was killing the five-on-three in the third period. We stayed composed and disciplined and stuck to our plan to play as a team and it paid off. I'm extremely proud of this group."
In Ann Arbor
The U.S. National Under-18 Team posted three wins and a shootout loss in four games of the Under-18 Four Nationals Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich., beating Sweden in the championship game, 3-1. Michigan recruit Evan Allen, Yale recruit John Hayden and Michael McCarron provided the goals for the U.S.
"I'm proud of how we played as a team throughout the entire tournament," said Wisconsin alum Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. "We need to build off these games and continue to improve as we move forward."
New Hampshire commit Tyler Kelleher led the tournament in scoring with six points in four games, followed closely by Anthony Louis (Miami) and Sean Malone (Wisconsin) with five points each.
The National Team Developmen Program's younger team, the U.S. National Under-17 Team, also claimed a championship over the weekend, winning the Under-17 Four Nations Tournament held in Switzerland. The Americans won all three games in the event, the team's first major international tournament.
Notre Dame recruit Sonny Milano had two goals and an assist in the 6-1 victory against the host team, Switzerland, to clinch the title.
"The team played very well today and skated hard the whole sixty minutes," said Michigan State alum Danton Cole, head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team. "It was a successful tournament for the guys and we'll look to carry this momentum with us moving forward."
Milano was the U.S. player of the game against Switzerland, while fellow Notre Dame recruit Anders Bjork earned the honor against Russia and Boston College commit Alex Tuch earned it vs. Slovakia.