ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) scored six seconds into the game, a United States Hockey League record, and added two assists as the U.S. National Under-18 Team cruised past the Omaha Lancers, 7-2, here tonight at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The game was the first in a four-game set for the National Team Development Program within the USHL.
Team USA opened the scoring just six seconds into the game when Fischer picked the pocket of an Omaha defender before sending a shot into the top corner. Tage Thompson (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) doubled the U.S. lead 12 minutes later with help from Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.). Kunin started the play with a shot through traffic that banked off the goalie’s leg and right to Floodstrand, who turned and dished Thompson for the easy tap-in. Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) made it 3-0 1:26 later when he grabbed a pass from Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) at the edge of the crease, moved across the front of the net and slid the puck just inside the post.
The Lancers scored twice in the middle frame to cut the Team USA lead to 3-2 after 40 minutes, but the U.S. scored four third-period goals to clinch the 7-2 win.
Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) made it 4-2 USA when he finished off a tic-tac-toe play with assists from Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) and Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio). Warren scored an empty-netter 17 seconds later before White buried another with help from Fischer, and Kunin followed with Team USA’s seventh marker with assists going to Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) and Floodstrand.
Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.) got the nod in net for the U18s and stopped 12 shots in two periods of action. Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) stopped all six shots he faced in the third period to close out the victory for Team USA.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team jumps right back into league play with a 7 p.m. ET tilt with Waterloo tomorrow night. The contest against the Black Hawks will be held at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube and is available to view online at FASTHockey.com.
Team USA outshot Omaha, 39-20 … The U.S. went 0-3 on the power play while the Lancers went 0-5 … Christian Fischer made United States Hockey League history with his first-period score. The forward marched straight down and tallied a goal just six seconds into the game. The feat bested the previous record of seven seconds held by Dakota Klecha of Muskegon (March 17, 2012 vs. Team USA) and Dan Dwyer of Sioux City (October 17, 1987 vs. Thunder Bay) … Omaha previously knocked off the U.S. National Under-17 Team, 7-1, on Feb. 20, at Ralston Arena in the only other meeting between the two programs this season … Omaha forward Shane Gersich (Chaska, Minn./2013-14) played for the NTDP last season.