On Saturday night Team USA (1-2) fell to Iroquois Nationals (2-0) 12-10 in a very hard fought battle. Joe Resetarits and Adam Osika scored just 23 seconds apart to give USA an early advantage. After an Iroquois goal, USA responded again with a pair of goals by Blaze Riorden and Kieran McArdle 42 seconds apart to give them a 4-1 lead just seven minutes into the game.
But as we know this is a game of runs, and that is just what the Iroquois did. Cody Jamieson, Brendan Bomberry, Randy Staats (power play) and Tehoka Nanticoke all found the back of the net for a 5-4 lead. The first quarter would end tied at five as Kieran McArdle would collect his second of the night.
Team USA would start out quick again in the second quarter to take a 6-5 lead, but that would be their last goal for the next 26:23 as two goals by Cody Jamieson just nine seconds apart gave the Iroquois Nationals the lead and the momentum. This would lead to a six-goal run and an 11-6 lead. Team USA would snap the scoring drought as Cody Radziewicz would make the score 11-7 and as the third quarter ended USA had the momentum.
Team USA would control the fourth quarter as they would fight back and draw to 11-10 after Dave Emala would find the goal with only 1:11 to go in regulation. But unfortunately Kason Tarbell would deposit one into the empty net to seal the 12-10 victory for Iroquois Nationals.
After a day off, Team USA faced Team England. This game was all Team USA from start to finish. Matt Rambo, or “The Great Rambino” to his teammates, would arrive after claiming his first PLL Championship and collect his first two goals of the tournament. Team USA would open a commanding 7-1 lead after the first quarter and outshoot England 18-4. The second quarter was much of the same as USA would lead 12-3 at the half and lead in shots 35-10.
Gowah Abrams, who started in net for USA, had the second half off as David Mather took his spot between the pipes. After Connor Buczek’s goal with 8:29 remaining in the third giving USA a 15-3 lead, the game went to a running clock. When a team is up by 12 or more the clock will run continuously until the lead is under 12.
Team USA continued the onslaught as they would outscore England 10-0 and outshoot them 22-7 in the second half alone.
After missing the first three games, Matt Rambo looked as if he has been with the team since day one as he and Blaze Riorden worked their two-man game to perfection on each of their goals.
Gale Thorpe led all goals scorers with five for Team USA. Connor Kelly and Blaze Riorden each had four apiece. Resetarits and McArdle combined for 13 assists.
Team USA will face the Czech Republic at 8pm PST Wednesday in the quarter-finals.
Team USA Leaders
Goals – Kieran McArdle (10), Blaze Riorden (9), Joe Resetarits (8)
Assists – Kieran McArdle & Joe Resetarits (20)
Points – McArdle (30), Resetarits (28), Riorden (17), Thorpe (16)