There were three big tournaments this past week and Michigan had recruits playing in all of them.  Plus updates on recruits in the USHL, OJHL, and more praise for Jacob Trouba from NHL Central Scouting. 

UNDER-17 FOUR NATIONS CUP
Team USA 6, Russia 2 (exhibition) – November 9
Team USA 4, Slovakia 0 – November 11
Team USA 10, Switzerland 5 – November 12
Team USA 5, Russia 0 – November 13

The U.S. National Team Development Program Under-17 Team captured the Four Nations Cup for the third straight year after sweeping the tournament.

In the exhibition game, Michigan recruit Tyler Motte netted Team USA’s fifth goal with the assist going to fellow Wolverine recruit J.T. Compher.

Team USA then opened the tourney with a strong 4-0 blanking of Slovakia.  U-M recruit Evan Allen assisted on Team USA’s third goal and Compher netted the fourth goal.  Team USA out shot Slovakia 47-20.

The following day the Americans had a bit of a wild game in a 10-5 win over Switzerland.  Though never in serious doubt of losing after jumping out to a 7-1 lead, they did let up a bit and let Switzerland chip away at the lead before putting it away for good in the third period.

Compher opened the scoring just 25 seconds in to the game.  Switzerland tied the game at the 2:09 mark, then Team USA netted the next six goals.  Allen assisted on USA’s sixth goal early in the second period.

After taking their foot off the gas, Switzerland cut the lead to 8-5 early in the third period, but Motte would go on to score two unassisted goals to seal the victory.  Motte was named Team USA’s Player of the Game.

In the final game of the tournament, Team USA earned their second shut out, this time blanking host Russia, 5-0.  Compher opened the scoring 5:33 in to the contest with an unassisted tally.  Team USA would take a 2-0 lead at 14:44, then Motte made it 3-0 with 51 seconds left in the stanza with Compher picking up the assist.  Compher picked up his second assist at 12:52 of the second period on a power play goal that made it 4-0.  The Americans added a third period tally to finish off the scoring.

For the tournament (including the exhibition game) Motte had 4-0-0 and was named the tournament’s best forward (!).  Compher finished with 3-3-6, and Allen had a pair of assists.  A very good showing for Michigan’s trio.

UNDER-18 FOUR NATIONS CUP
Team USA 6, Switzerland 0 (exhibition) – November 9
Team USA 3, Sweden 2 – November 11
Team USA 3, Finland 1 – November 12
Team USA 6, Switzerland 2 – November 13

Like the Under-17 Team, the U.S.  NTDP Under-18 Team also captured their Four Nations Cup tournament by sweeping the competition.  It’s the fourth year in a row the Americans have won the tourney.

The Americans blanked host Switzerland, 6-0, in exhibition action.  Michigan defensive recruit Connor Carrick assisted on the opening goal, and Wolverine goalie recruit Jared Rutledge and Ohio State goalie recruit Collin Olson combined for the shut out (no shots on goal numbers were available in the USA press release).

In the first official game of the tournament, Team USA earned a 3-2 come from behind win over Sweden.  Neither Carrick nor Jacob Trouba recorded a point.  Trouba (roughing) and Rutledge (delay of game) each earned a penalty.  Rutledge finished the game with 24 saves for the win.

The following day Team USA downed Finland, 3-1.  Trouba netted Team USA’s third goal, a power play tally with 1:06 left in the second period, with the primary assist going to Carrick.  Trouba and Carrick each had a penalty, too.  Rutledge did not play in this game.

In the final contest, Team USA defeated host Switzerland for a second time, 6-2, to capture the title.  Carrick netted Team USA’s opening goal 6:25 in to the game, then he assisted on Matthew Lane’s goal six minutes later to give the Americans a 2-0 lead.  USA would score with 13 seconds left in the opening stanza to take a 3-0 lead and they wouldn’t look back as they went on to a 6-2 victory.  Rutledge backstopped Team USA’s title clinching game and made 29 saves.  Carrick’s three points in tournament player (not including the exhibition game) was a tournament best among blue liners.

Canada East 5, Czech Republic 0 – Monday
Russia 3, Canada East 2 (shootout win) – Wednesday
Canada East 4, Team USA 2 – Friday
Canada West 4, Canada East 2 – Sunday

Canada East won the silver medal at the 2011 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge after losing to Canada West, 4-2, in the gold medal game last night.  Michigan recruit Daniel Milne’s only point of the tournament came in the gold medal game when he scored an unassisted goal with 5:24 remaining in the third period to cut Canada West’s lead to 4-2.

Lincoln 3, Sioux Falls 2 – Friday
Sioux Falls 5, Tri-City 3 – Saturday

Sioux Falls split their two games this past week, dropping the first to Lincoln and rebounding with a win over Tri-City.

Michigan recruit Justin Selman finally got the monkey off his back as he netted his first goal of the season in the loss to Lincoln.  The goal came on the power play during the second period. It was his only point of the game and he had four shots on goal and a -1 rating.

The following night Selman had the secondary assist on Sioux Falls third goal early in the third period for his only point of the night.  He again had four shots on goal and this time a +1 rating.

Muskegon 2, Youngstown 1 – Friday
Muskegon 5, Indiana 4 – Saturday

Muskegon picked up two big wins against teams above them in their division to improve their record to 6-6-0, but they remain in sixth place.

Michigan recruit Max Shuart  assisted on the Jacks opening goal Friday night and had four shots on goal and a +1 rating.  Saturday night he opening the scoring on the power play 2:09 in to the contest and assisted on Muskegon’s third goal.  He had with three shots on goal and a -1 rating.

Youngstown 5, Dubuque 2 – Saturday
Dubuque 4, Youngstown 3 – Sunday

Dubuque split a weekend series against Youngstown.  Michigan defensive recruit Michael Downing had no points, one shot on goal, and an even plus/minus rating in the opening contest.   The following night Downing had the exact same stat line.

Green Bay 6, Chicago 1 – Saturday

Division leader Green Bay rolled over Chicago, 6-1.  Michigan recruit Alex Kile had no points, one shot on goal, and a -1 rating for the Gamblers.

North of the border… Hamilton and Oakville had a few games this past week, but neither Spencer Hyman nor Bryson Cianfrone are listed in the box score for any of the games.  Not sure if they’re out injured? Edit: Spencer tells me he has a minor injury but will be back in the line up soon.

More praise for Trouba
NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory and Al Jensen had more praise for the future Wolverine in an article on NHL.com.

 ”He has offense skills and he really does defend well,” Gregory said. “You can just tell by how he plays in all areas of the ice that he’s a big kid who skates really well. He loves to jump into the play and has confidence because he knows his skating can get him back, so he rarely gets caught out of position. He’s going to be someone people are going to talk about; we’ve known about him for a couple years and he’s not disappointing early on this year, either.”

“He skates exceptionally well and likes to rush up the ice with the puck and with good speed,” Jensen said. “He’s very confident, has great agility, is strong physically and is always alert. He’s done a good job in 1-on-1 situations against opposing forwards and contained his man very well.”