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By Madison Capitols, 12/04/21, 11:30PM CST


The Madison Capitols drop tonight's contest 7-5 and settle for a series split against Team USA after a late 3rd period comeback bid falls short against the U18s.

The Caps jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when DJ Hart blasted home his first of two goals tonight just 3:32 into the game. Hart's laser from the high slot was assisted by defenseman Nick Wallace and captain Casey Severo. Jake Dunlap netted a first period equalizer after Dan Sambuco made a beautiful behind the back pass from below the goal line to find Dunlap. Nick Wallace registered his second assist of the night on the Lamp lighter.

After a scoreless 2nd period, Team USA jumped out to a 3-2 lead 1:37 into the 3rd period. Not two minutes later, DJ Hart ripped home his second goal of the evening to even things up at 3-3. Forwards Matthew McGroarty and Jared Mangan tallied the helpers.

Team USA rattled off a string of goals and the Caps found themselves down 6-3 with just under 4 minutes left in regulation. With 3:26 remaining, Ben Dexheimer popped in a loose puck after a frenzy out front of the U18 net. Dexheimer's third goal of the season would bring the Caps within two goals. 23 seconds later, Madison captain Jack Horbach blasted home a one-timer from the left circle to bring the Capitols within one. The Caps had multiple chances with the extra attacker on the ice for the final two minutes of the game but were unsuccessful in netting the equalizer.

"I'm very proud of the guys for their battle, they didn't quit tonight. It was 6-3 fairly late in the game and you know they could have gone away but they continued to fight. They did a great job with the power play and with the goalie pulled, we had some great chances to tie the game," Capitols head coach Tom Upton said.

Madison is back to work next week with a home-and-home series against the Green Bay Gamblers.