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 Muskegon Lumberjacks

Series Preview - Final Week of Regular Season Sends Jacks to Chicago

April 13, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Muskegon Lumberjacks News Release

GENEVA, IL. - Just one final week of regular season action remains in the USHL as the Muskegon Lumberjacks (36-22-1-1, 74 pts.) look to end the season strong with a weekend series against the Chicago Steel (27-26-3-4, 61 pts.). There are a lot of questions still to be answered for the 2024 Clark Cup Playoffs with the playoff seeding yet to be decided.


This weekend brings the sixth and seventh games this season between the Muskegon Lumberjacks and Chicago Steel. All 5 of the previous matchups have gone the way of the Lumberjacks. All of which as wins in regulation. The teams first met for the Steel home opener on September 30th when the Jacks picked up a 7-4 win thanks to a pair of goals each from Sacha Boisvert (Trois-Rivieres, QC, CAN) and Jack Galanek (Hopkinton, MA). A week later the teams met in Muskegon for the Jacks' home opener where again it was Muskegon who picked up the win. This time by way of an 8-2 blowout on Flaunt Your Flannel Festival.

It took until the middle of December for the teams to see each other again. The final games before the USHL's winter break saw the Steel return to Trinity Health Arena for a two-game series. The Friday night matchup went the way of the Jacks by a score of 6-2. Ty Henricks (Mission Viejo, CA) scored a pair of goals in the win. The Saturday night matchup was the closest of the season series with a 4-3 Jacks win. Justin Solovey (Holmdel, NJ) netted the game winner.

In February the Jacks kicked off a two-game road trip with a stop in Chicago for a Friday night game against the Steel. Chicago jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first 5 minutes, but 5 straight goals from the Jacks secured the comeback victory. Boisvert recorded a pair of goals while Shikhabudtin Gadzhiev (Makhachkala, RUS) earned the win after stopping all 17 shots he faced.


It isn't often that the Lumberjacks are held winless over a weekend series, but that was the case last time out for a two-game home-and-home series against the USA Hockey NTDP Under-18 Team. In fact, last week was just the third time in the 29-week USHL season the Jacks were kept out of the win column.

Friday night's game in Muskegon started out well for the Lumberjacks with a plethora of opportunities in the first period. Jack Parsons kept the Jacks attack at bay while Gadzhiev did the same through the first period. Both teams struck twice in the second period. First, it was the NTDP with goals from Kamil Bednarik James Hagens. Muskegon tied the game with two straight goals from Joe Connor (Amherst, NH). Three straight goals in the third from the program put the score out of reach even with a late power play goal from Matvei Gridin (Kurgan, RUS).

Saturday was another close game. The NTDP opened the scoring in the first period with a power play goal from Cole Eiserman in the final minute and a half of the period. Ethan Whitcomb (St. Catherines, ON, CAN) got the Jacks on the board to tie the game early in the second, but the second goal of the weekend for Bednarik regained the USA lead. Connor scored his third goal of the weekend to send the game into the second intermission tied 2-2. Again, the NTDP was able to close things out in the third with a pair of unanswered goals to secure the win.


With the Lumberjacks in the smack middle of a tightly compacted Eastern Conference playoff picture there are a few different scenarios for what the first round of the playoffs will look like.

Scenario 1

The Lumberjacks don't overtake the Gamblers for 2nd place while they stay ahead of the Phantoms in points. Should the Jacks stay in third place they will host the Chicago Steel in the first round of playoffs starting on Monday, April 15th.

Scenario 2

With some success in Chicago and help from Madison the Lumberjacks can overtake the Gamblers for 2nd place. Should this be the case the Jacks would earn a first round bye before hosting the first two games of the second round starting on Friday, April 20th.

Scenario 3

2 out of the possible 4 points this weekend clinches the Jacks at least 3rd place. Should they not pick up any points and get overtaken by the Phantoms the Jacks will host the Madsion Capitols in the first round starting on Monday, April 15th.


Join Voice of the Lumberjacks Ezra Gennello and catch the action all season long with the USHL's official video streaming partner FloHockey, and with the free radio stream on the Lumberjacks Hockey Network on Mixlr.


Fri. April 12 | 7:05 pm CST | at Chicago Steel

Sat. April 13 | 6:05 pm CST | at Chicago Steel


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United States Hockey League Stories from April 13, 2024

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