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 Muskegon Lumberjacks

Lumberjacks Swept by Under-18 Team After 4-2 Saturday Loss

April 6, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Muskegon Lumberjacks News Release

PLYMOUTH, MI - The game didn't come without its controversies, but in the end the Muskegon Lumberjacks (36-22-1-1) fell to the USA Hockey NTDP Under-18 Team (21-32-2-3) by a score of 4-2.

Entering Saturday's game the Jacks hadn't allowed a power play goal in their last 7 games, but that would change with just 1:08 to go in the first period when the NTDP went on their first advantage of the contest. A failed clearing attempt by the Lumberjacks was gloved down by Brodie Ziemer and sent to the near side circle for Cole Eiserman. Showcasing his quick release Eiserman shot the puck back towards the far side of the net to help the NTDP to a 1-0 lead after one.

While skating 4-on-4 to start the second period the Lumberjacks found the back of the net to tie the game 1-1 just 1:02 into the frame. Ethan Whitcomb (St. Catherines, ON, CAN) found a way to win possession at the top of the NTDP zone and ripped a shot between the legs of Nick Kempf for his 18th goal of the season.

Just a few moments later the Program regained their lead with a goal from Kamil Bednarik who received a pass at the front of the net from Max Plante. Eiserman picked up the secondary assist for his second point of the game.

Similar to last night the Jacks tied the game 2-2 ahead of the second intermission, and again it was Joe Connor (Amherst, NH) finding the back of the net. Jake Toll (Rosemount, MN) kept the puck in the offensive zone and rather than shooting from the near side of the blue line sent a pass across the way to Connor. Not even looking at the net Connor fired a shot off the near side post across the crease and into the back of the cage for his 30th goal of the season.

A controversial goal not only broke the 2-2 tie, but was also the eventual game winner. At the 11:26 mark of the third period Kamil Bednarik ran into Shikhabudtin Gadzhiev (Makhachkala, RUS) in the Jacks crease allowing defenseman Sam Laurila to tap the puck into the back of the net to give the program a 3-2 lead.

With the empty net the Jacks offense went to work trying to tie the game and earned a penalty shot in the final 40 seconds of the game. Matvei Gridin (Kurgan, RUS) got the nod from the bench for the opportunity, but was turned aside by the blocker of Kempf. An empty netter with 2 seconds left gave the NTDP the final score of 4-2.

Gadzhiev (16-10) earned the loss on his record with 24 saves on 27 shots against. Kempf (10-4-1-0) earned the win with 20 saves on 22 shots.

The Jacks close the regular season next week with a pair of games in Chicago against the Steel. The games can be found on the official live stream partner of the USHL, FloHockey, and for free on the Lumberjacks Hockey Network on Mixlr.

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United States Hockey League Stories from April 6, 2024

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