Gopher Hockey: Vannelli scores third period goal to keep medal streak alive for U18


Nov 6, 2012; Sochi, RUS; An exterior view of Shayba Arena during construction preparations for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games during the costal cluster venue tour at the world press briefing. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Vannelli scored a big third period goal Friday as part of a comeback for the U18 Team USA against host Russia.

The goal helped keep Team USA’s medal streak alive which dates back to 2004.

Russia took a 2-1 lead into the third period where, four minutes into the period, Vannelli, a Minnetonka native, lit the lamp to tie it for USA at two.

Russia was able to break the deadlock with a goal with 3:19 left in the game but the Americans scored with 2:05 left to tie it once again at three.  USA would eventually go on to win in a shootout after a big penalty kill in the overtime period.

Vannelli’s goal was his second in the tournament along with three points.  The goal also keeps USA’s gold medal streak alive at the U18 world championships.  A win versus Canada on Sunday would put the streak at five.

Another Gopher Hockey recruit, Hudson Fasching, is also playing a key part for Team USA.  Fasching, a Burnsville native, had five assists in the tournament and was also on the ice for the game tying goal with two minutes left.  Fasching will be an integral part of the Gopher offense next season.