Muskegon Lumberjacks

Late Effort Falls Short in 5-4 Loss in Green Bay

February 25, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Muskegon Lumberjacks News Release

GREEN BAY, WI - With two games played already this weekend the Muskegon Lumberjacks (28-16-1-1, 58 pts.) and Green Bay Gamblers (27-11-4-2, 60 pts.) went at it for a third time, and the final time this regular season. A late comeback effort brought the Jacks within a single goal, but the Gamblers held on for the 5-4 win.

Green Bay took a 1-0 lead 4:45 into the game on the back of a goal from Libor Nemec. Jayson Shaugabay carried the puck around the back of the net to the far side of the crease. Instead of taking a shot Shaugabay slid a pass across the frame of the goal to Nemec to shoot himself. The net came off its place, but the goal was confirmed following a video review.

Four minutes later the Gamblers doubled their lead on another play in tight to the Lumberjacks goal. Julian Lutz worked towards the net from the far side corner and popped out from below the goal line. Beau Lane (Pembroke, MA) attempted a poke check, but the puck slid under his paddle allowing Lutz to slide the puck through the five hole to make it 2-0.

Both teams struck for a pair of goals in the second period starting with the Gamblers at the 6:11 mark. Ben Poitras received a pass on the near side of the slot from Lutz with space to wind up a heavy wrister off the cross bar and in while on a power play.

Muskegon responded just under a minute and a half later with a goal from Matvei Gridin (Kurgan, RUS). A shot from Cody Croal (North Branch, MN) produced a rebound on the far side of the net. Gridin met the rebound and brought it around the back of the cage and tucked it in the near side for his 25th goal of the season. Cameron Aucoin (Chicago, IL) had the secondary assist on the goal.

A few moments later at the 12:05 mark Green Bay regained their three goal lead when Ryan Humphry found himself behind the defense. Humphry faked a shot before moving forehand to backhand and sliding the puck through the five hole and into the net.

The Jacks responded with a strong shift leading to a Joe Connor (Amherst, NH) goal. Gridin got the puck in the middle of the slot and tapped a pass to the far side and Connor who ripped a shot to the back of the net for his 20th goal of the season, 39th point.

Nemec scored his second goal of the game to give Green Bay a 5-3 lead halfway through the third period with a power play goal after finding a rebound from a shot by Lutz was stopped.

The comeback effort was on, and the Jacks scored two goals with the extra attacker, but ultimately weren't able to overcome the deficit. Ethan Whitcomb (St. Catherines, ON, CAN) scored the first one with just over four minutes to play when Gridin sent a shot on net producing a rebound for Whitcomb in the crease. Then, with :6 seconds to play Justin Solovey (Holmdel, NJ) sent a puck towards the net from the near side wall where Croal pushed it past the goalie and into the net.

Lane started the game and lasted only 32 minutes stopping 17 of the 21 shots he faced. Miles Roberts (Costa Mesa, CA) (3-1-0-0) earned the loss in relief with 7 saves on 8 shots against. Gavin Moffatt (8-3-2-1) earned the win with 34 saves on 38 shots from the Lumberjacks.

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