PLYMOUTH, Mich. – The Central Illinois Flying Aces defeat the U.S. National Under-17 Team, 4-1, in the second night of a two-game series against Team USA.
The teams were scoreless through the first period despite each team having two power play opportunities.
Team USA scored first 3:32 into the second when Hunter Strand got the puck in front of the net during a power play, spun around, and slid the puck past the goaltender’s outstretched pad.
Chad Hillebrand (Skokie, Ill.) powered around several USA defenders and fed the puck to Connor Mayer (Champlin, Minn.) at the point. Mayer’s shot was blocked wide, and Joe Dunlap (Windham, NH) redirected the puck back. Hillebrand was left unguarded in the slot and snapped the puck into the net to tie the game only twenty-three seconds after the USA goal.
Midway through the second, Mayer made a stretch pass from the Aces blue line to Tate Singleton (West Lebanon, NH) at the opposing one. Singleton backhanded a pass over to Stephen Halliday (Toronto, Ont.). Halliday’s initial shot was stopped, but Singleton drove the net and poked the puck past the USA goaltender.
Mayer picked up his third point of the night when he kept a failed Team USA clear in the zone. The Colorado College commit passed across the slot to Singleton on the backdoor. Singleton’s initial shot was blocked, but he batted the rebound out of the air and into the net for a score of 3-1.
Lynden Breen (Grand Bay-Westfield) corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone and took it into the zone on a three-on-two. Breen dropped it back for Hillebrand who fed Dunlap on the backdoor for his seventh goal of the season at 14:46 in the third.
Mitchell Gibson (Phoenixville, Penn.) backstopped the Aces to the 4-1 victory stopping 34 of 35 shots faced.
Thursday, Central Illinois heads to Sioux Falls to face the Stampede. This will mark the halfway point of six road games in a row. The Flying Aces return 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.