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Lumberjacks Roar Back in Third, But Fall to Team USA 5-3

October 16, 2020 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Muskegon Lumberjacks News Release

MUSKEGON, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks scored three unanswered goals in the third to draw within a single goal, but ultimately fell to Team USA U18 in their preseason opener, 5-3.

Team USA raced out to an early lead just 1:10 into the game when Sasha Pastujov capitalized on a turnover, beating Jacks goalie Jonathan Williams on a 2-on-0.

Team USA would add goals from Ty Murchison and Jack Devine in the first to open up a 3-0 lead at the break.

In the second, Team USA's Jeremy Wilmer extended their lead to 4-0 with a forehand-backhand deke in tight, beating netminder Jan Skorpik. Williams started the game and stopped 23 of 26 shots before Skorpik entered the game midway through the second period in a premeditated goalie change. Skorpik made 17 saves on 18 Team USA shots.

Trailing 4-0 entering the third, Muskegon began to rally, getting a power-play goal from Alex Konovalov with 13:50 still to play in the game. Konovalov ripped a one-time slap shot past USA goaltender Gibson Homer after defenseman Davis Pennington teed Konovalov up with a nice feed to the left circle.

Just 1:23 later, defenseman Hank Kempf wired a long wrist shot past Homer to make the score 4-2 with more than 12 minutes still to play.

Muskegon got a penalty kill in the late stages of the third to keep the deficit at two, and immediately pulled Skorpik afterward. With 1:48 to play and the extra attacker on the ice, captain Dylan Wendt lasered a shot over the glove of Homer to make the score 4-3.

The Jacks comeback was cut short, however, when Jack Hughes potted the empty-net goal with 26 seconds left, making the final score 5-3.

Muskegon hits the road tomorrow to rematch Team USA at their place. Puck drop is slated for 4:05pm and the game can be heard on the Lumberjacks Broadcast Network. The team's free Mixlr can be found at (AUDIO) and video may be streamed on available devices through HockeyTV at (VIDEO).

Muskegon goals: Konovalov (1), Kempf (1), Wendt (1)

Muskegon assists: Tyler Dunbar (1), Pennington (1), Tyler Procious (1), Cam Berg (1)

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