LAUREL, MD. – Following over 55 minutes of scoreless play, Michael Podelnyk (Howell, Mich./Western Michigan University) found the back of the net to lead the United States University Select Team to a 1-0 victory over West Virginia University in exhibition play at The Gardens Ice House. Team USA will depart for Torino, Italy, tomorrow for the Jan. 17 start of the Winter World University Games.
“I was really happy with how we played,” said U.S. University Select Team Head Coach Chad Cassel (Champaign, Ill./University of Illinois). “For our first time playing together, I was impressed by how we controlled the game. We created a lot of offensive opportunities and during five-on-five play we didn’t give them anything.”
Team USA outshot West Virginia by a 21-5 margin during the first two periods, but couldn’t solve Mountaineer netminder Rastislav Kret. Michael McMullen (Chester Springs, Pa./Penn State University) had perhaps Team USA’s best shot at scoring during the opening 40 minutes of play. McMullen took a cross-ice feed from Frank Berry (Allentown, Pa./Penn State University) at the 14:11 mark of the second period before sailing a shot just wide of the net.
With the game still deadlocked late in the final frame, Podelnyk intercepted a West Virginia clearing attempt in Team USA’s offensive zone. Podelnyk carried the puck toward the net before firing a backhand shot past Kret into top-left corner of the net at the 15:35 mark to account for the game’s only scoring.
Team USA netminders Anthony Feyock (Johnstown, Pa./University of Rhode Island) and Stephen Yu (Garden City, Mich./University of Michigan Dearborn) combined for a nine-save shutout.
Team USA opens play at 2007 Winter World University Games on Thursday (Jan. 18) versus Canada. Joining the United States and Canada in Pool B are Korea, Russia and Slovakia. Pool A is comprised of the Czech Republic, Finland, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Kazakhstan.
NOTES: Forward Nick Krebsbach (Minot, N.D./North Dakota State University) was named Team USA’s captain prior to the game, while Joel Kuehn (Troy, Mich./University of Michigan Dearborn) and Keith Jordan (State College, Pa./Penn State University) will serve as assistant captains … The United States finished the game with a 29-9 shot advantage … The 2005 U.S. University Select Team finished with a 3-3-0 record at the 2005 Winter World University games, marking its best showing since returning to the Games in 2001 with players from the ACHA.
Scoring By Period
USA 0-0-1 -- 1
WVU 0-0-0 -- 0
First Period – Scoring: None. Penalties: USA, Biliouris (hooking), 10:42; WVU, Leszcynski (slashing), 17:52.
Second Period – Scoring: None. Penalties: WVU, Kurth (slashing), 2:45; USA, Fuhs (slashing), 5:33; USA, Schmitt (tripping), 6:35.
Third Period – Scoring: 1, USA, Podelnyk (unassisted), 15:35. Penalties: USA, Fuhs (hooking), 3:18; WVU, Leszcynski (tripping), 5:22; USA, McMullen (hooking), 18:09.
Shots By Period 1 2 3 Total
USA 8 13 8 29
WVU 2 3 4 9
Goaltending (SH-SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Feyock, 30:27 2-2 3-3 x-x 5-5
USA, Yu, 29:33 x-x 0-0 4-4 4-4
WVU, Kret, 58:54 8-8 13-13 8-7 29-28
Power Play: USA 0-3; WVU 0-5
Penalties: USA 5-10; WVU 3-6
2007 Winter World University Games Schedule