A win over Slovakia would win Group B for USA.

Crookston's Paul Bittner did not record a point but USA defeated Russia 4-2 Tuesday in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia.

Crookston has another interesting tie to Team USA. Former University of Minnesota Crookston equestrian rider Lauren Snively is the sister of forward Joseph Snively, who was named the U.S. Player of the Game in the loss to Finland. The Snivelys are from Harndon, Va.

USA led 2-0 after the first period, but Russia got one back in the second period. USA held off the Russians in the third period for its first win of the tournament.

The U.S. Under-18 Select Team lost 3-2 to Finland in overtime Monday to open the tournament. Bittner scored the first goal of the game.

Team USA and Slovakia faced off at 10:30 a.m. in the final game of group play. The semifinals will be played Friday with the championship and third place games Saturday.

USA is in third place with four points in Group B going into the game against Slovakia. A win would put USA in first place in their group. Russia defeated Finland today to take first place.

A victory in the round robin stage counts for three points, while a team defeated in regulation receives no points. If the match is not decided in regulation time, each teams will be credited with a point. The winner in overtime or after the shootout will receive an extra point.


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