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Lumberjacks Open the Season with a Victory

September 22, 2022 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Muskegon Lumberjacks News Release

It's only one game, but it's always nice to start the season with a victory, and the Muskegon Lumberjacks did that in impressive fashion on Thursday.

The Jacks overcame an early two-goal deficit, scored five unanswered goals in the first period, then held on for a 7-4 victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL Fall Classic in Pittsburgh.

Seven different Lumberjacks scored in the win, while defenseman Nathan McBrayer had two assists.

The Lumberjacks will remain in Pittsburgh for one more game, playing Tri-City on Friday afternoon. Their home opener will be Friday, Sept. 30 against the Chicago Steel.

The game did not start out well for the Lumberjacks. Sioux Falls grabbed a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Maxim Strbak at 3:28 of the first period and Will McDonough at 8:25.

The Lumberjacks responded with an offensive flully, ending the period with five unanswered goals scored by five different players.

Rookie Cody Croal found the net at 11:05 of the opening period, followed by Owen Mehlenbacher (11:54), Ethan Whitcomb (14:50), Jake Richard (17:14), and David Hymovitch (19:54).

Maddox Fleming scored for the Stampede at 2:11 of the second period, narrowing the score to 5-3, then Muskegon's George Fegaras answered with a goal to make the score 6-3 headed into the third.

Sioux Fall's Samuel Harris found the next 2:01 into the third period, then Muskegon rookie Sacha Boisvert ended the scoring with a goal at the 17:02 mark.

Hymovitch, Croal, Richard, Tyler Dunbar and Nicholas Rexine also had assists for the Jacks, along with goalie Noah Rupprecht.

Rupprecht stopped 14 of 18 shots to collect the win. Sioux Falls outshot Muskegon 18-14.

The Lumberjacks had two goals on five power play opportunities. Sioux Falls had one power play goal on three chances.

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