Lumberjacks Shear Steel 3-1, Inch Toward Second Place
MUSKEGON, MI - The Muskegon Lumberjacks were outshot 17-10 in the first period, but put together a dominant second two periods in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Steel Wednesday at LC Walker Arena.
Despite carrying the play in the first, Chicago found themselves trailing to Muskegon 1-0 after one thanks to Vincent de Mey's 16th goal of the season.
Muskegon would not look back, outshooting Chicago 34-12 the rest of the way (44-29 total).
Keegan Karki made 28 saves en route to his 20th victory of the season. Karki is second place in the USHL in wins, only two behind league-leading Maksim Zhukov (Green Bay).
After de Mey led off the scoring in the first, Marc Del Gaizo tallied his 10th of the season on the power play with 13:10 to play in the second. Del Gaizo leads all USHL defensemen with those ten goals, and has moved within four points of Christian Wolanin's franchise record of 61 points for a d-man.
In the third, older brother Anthony ripped home his league-leading 36th of the year, beating goaltender Justin Robbins bar down over the shoulder.
Chicago would get a power-play goal from Nick Abruzzese, but the comeback fell short.
Lumberjack forwards Matej Pekar and Wyatt Bongiovanni each notched multi-point games, and Bongiovanni stretched his point streak to five. Bongiovanni now has 34 points in 34 games this season.
Muskegon's penalty kill was an asset as well, killing seven of eight penalties. The power play scored once in three opportunities.
The two points pull the Jacks within two points of second-place Youngstown, and a first-round bye in the Clark Cup playoffs.
Muskegon's homestand will continue this weekend with two games against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders this Friday and Saturday. Cedar Rapids enters the weekend in seventh place, and are fighting for their playoff lives down the stretch.
Saturday's game is St. Patrick's day powered by the Gear Group- come out and snag a souvenir Mood Mug at the game!
Muskegon goals: de Mey (16), M. Del Gaizo (10), A. Del Gaizo (36)
Muskegon assists: Bray Crowder (11), Bongiovanni (18,19), Pekar (34,35), Mikael Hakkarainen (24)
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United States Hockey League Stories from March 14, 2018
- Gamblers Complete Comeback - Green Bay Gamblers
- Lumberjacks Shear Steel 3-1, Inch Toward Second Place - Muskegon Lumberjacks
- Steel Chopped Down by Lumberjacks 3-1 Wednesday - Chicago Steel
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- Six USHL Alumni Among Hobey Baker Award Finalists - USHL
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