PLYMOUTH, Mich. – The Central Illinois Flying Aces fall to the U.S. National Under-18 Team, 11 to 4.
Thirty-six seconds into the game, Michael Gildon drove into the offensive zone for Team USA. He dropped a pass back to John Beecher who scored past the goaltender’s blocker to take an early lead.
Less than a minute later, Sebastian Dirven (Cornwall, Ont.) found Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) on the blue line with a stretch pass. The NTDP alum took the puck and wristed it past the netminder top-shelf to score against his former team.
Central Illinois scored their second of the night 4:44 into the first. Tate Singleton (West Lebanon, NH) passed to Jon Panisa (Irvine, Calif.) to exit the defensive zone. Panisa quickly passed to Stephen Halliday (Toronto, Ont.) as they attacked on a two-on-one breakaway. Halliday kept the puck and took the shot, scoring his seventh of the season.
Team USA tied the game at 14:49 in the first. Matthew Boldy drove the net. Ryan Snowden (Kennett Square, Penn.) made the initial save, but Michael Gildon scored on the rebound.
Beecher rimmed the puck behind the net to Moynihan who quickly passed to Gildon alone in the slot. Gildon scored at 19:31 in the first to take a late lead.
1:08 into the second, Turcotte scored after Team USA broke out in a two-on-zero breakaway. The U18s scored their second of the period at 5:44 when Drew Helleson shot from the point and Danny Weight scored on the rebound.
Ryan Siedem (Madison, NJ) picked up a missed USA pass in the neutral zone and rushed the puck down the ice. He dropped it back to Lynden Breen (Grand Bay-Westfield, NB) who passed across the slot to Chad Hillebrand (Skokie, Ill.) He backhanded a pass back to Siedem who tipped it past the goaltender in the top right corner.
After a USA turnover, Janicke broke out on a two-on-one breakaway with Cal Kiefiuk (Macomb, Mich.). The captain made the pass, and Kiefiuk put the puck into the gaping net to make it a one-goal game.
Team USA scored twice more to finish the period with a sharp-angle shot from Ryder Rolston and far-corner shot from Gildon for his second of the night.
The U18s finished the game with four third period goals: one from Rolston, two from Caufield, and one from Weight for a final score of 11 to 4.
Tomorrow night, Central Illinois plays Team USA again; this time taking on the Under-17 team. This will be the second game of a stretch of six road games. Central Illinois returns home on Friday, February 15th for Special Olympics Night and Saturday, February 16th for Hockey Fights Cancer Night.
For tickets or more information, call the Flying Aces at 309-434-2980 or visit www.flyingaceshockey.com.
ABOUT THE FLYING ACES
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.