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U17's take bronze at World Challenge

January 4, 2009

Jacob Fallon tallied three goals as the U.S. National Under-17 Team downed Canada West to earn the bronze medal at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge held in Port Alberni, British Columbia.

Mahoning Valley Phantoms forward Brandon Saad, along with U.S. defenseman Adam Clendening, was named to the six-player tournament all-star team.

Saad (four goals, five assists) led the U.S. team in scoring along with Nick Shore (five goals, four assists).

Fallon put Team USA ahead, 1-0, 4:03 into the final game when he slipped the puck around a defenseman and chipped it into the upper right corner of the net. At 15:30, Fallon collected a rebound in front and slammed it past netminder Calvin Pickard for a power-play goal.

In the second stanza, Stuart Higgins made it 3-0 after he one-timed a Bryan Rust feed into the bottom left corner. Fallon completed his hat trick at 14:49 when Michael Mersch drew in two defenders and dropped a pass to Fallon who fired it past Pickard from the right side.

Quintin Howden scored a pair for Canada West at 1:10 and 3:50 of the third period to cut the deficit in half. However, Team USA's defense and netminder Will Yanakeff allowed nothing else to preserve the 4-2 victory and collect Team USA's third consecutive medal at a World Under-17 Challenge.

Yanakeff made 26 saves for the U.S. in the win.

NOTES: Fallon was named Team USA Player of the Game... Shane Sooth recorded three assists ... Team USA outscored its opponents 38-13 during the Challenge... Yanakeff's .930 save percentage was second among the tournament's goaltenders... Jack Campbell's 1.96 goals-against average was tops among goaltenders that played three or more games... The bronze medal is Team USA's seventh medal at the event... Team USA finished the tournament with a 4-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) and improved to 7-0-1-1 against international competition this season... The 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge featured 10 international teams including five Canadian regional teams (Ontario, Quebec, Pacific, West and Atlantic), Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia and the United States. 

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