Team USA received contributions from all over the lineup in their march to a second consecutive gold medal at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. But one U.S. player stood out a little more than the others, a player whose name will soon be bandied about in much the same way that the names McDavid and Eichel have been discussed over the past few months.
USA forward Auston Matthews came into the 2015 U18 as perhaps the most highly touted player competing at this year’s event. He leaves Switzerland having met, and possibly exceeding, the hype surrounding his game. Matthews led the way on offense, not only for the U.S. but also among all U18 participants, posting eight goals and 15 points in seven games. His goal total tied him for the lead in that category with Finland’s Patrik Laine.
Holding down the fort in goal for the U.S. was Tri-City Americans netminder, Evan Sarthou. Sarthou played in five the USA’s seven games, posting a tournament-leading 1.15 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. Sarthou was the only player on the U.S. roster who is not currently competing in the U.S. National Team Development Program.
Matthews and Sarthou, who are both eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, spoke with Hockey’s Future following the USA’s win over Finland in the U18 gold medal game, conversations that are featured in this HF video.
Highlights from Team USA’s gold medal win over Team Finland can be viewed in the video below.
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