VS. Dubuque fighting saints
L.C. WALKER ARENA, MUSKEGON, MICH.
Sunday, JANUARY 29, 2012
It’s the final night of a three-game weekend, and it ends with the final Sunday home tilt of the regular season. The Muskegon Lumberjacks are 2-0-0 in Sunday home games, with wins over Waterloo and Indiana to their credit, and today they welcome the Dubuque Fighting Saints for the second of six meetings. The defending Clark Cup champions spoiled the L.C. Walker Arena home opener with a 4-0 shutout of the Lumberjacks Oct. 22.
Not even 1980s throwback jerseys could help Lumberjacks (10-18-3, 23 points / 8th in East) end their Saturday curse, as they fell 5-3 to the Indiana Ice. Muskegon is now 3-12-0 on the seventh day of the week and has lost on seven Saturdays in a row; the Jacks’ last Saturday victory was Nov. 12 at Indiana. Defenseman Travis Walsh led the way last night with two assists, and Jordan Masters extended his scoring streak to four with a helper.
The Fighting Saints (21-11-3, 45 points / T-3rd in East) are also playing their third game in as many days, as they wrap up a Michigan swing tonight. Dubuque claimed a 5-2 road victory in Ann Arbor Saturday night, scoring the game’s final three goals after the National Under-17 Team tied the score 2-2 early in the first. 10 different Saints had exactly one point, and goalie Matt Morris locked down the Dubuque net over the final 53 minutes.
- Matt DeBlouw is the hottest Lumberjack at the offensive end, as he has a goal in four of his last six games and at least a point in five of six. Although Ryan Lomberg missed on a penalty shot in the second period last night, the Ontario native has still scored in six of his last eight games, bookending a four-game injury-induced hiatus after the holiday break.
- The Muskegon power play was clicking last night, scoring twice on five chances against Indiana, the USHL’s second-best penalty killing team at the time. Tyler Heinonen and Nick Seeler both connected on the man advantage; it was the first time in 11 games the Lumberjacks have netted two power play goals. They have accomplished the feat five times this year, sporting a 3-2-0 record in such games.
- For the first time since Nov. 26 at Chicago, a span of 14 games, the Lumberjacks outshot their opponent. Saturday’s 33-shot effort immediately followed Muskegon’s two lowest outputs of the season, which were 18 and 15 against the NTDP Under-17s. The Jacks have outshot their opponent just seven times in 31 games, and they’re 5-2-0 after dropping the last two decisions.
Saints come marching in
- Dubuque has alternated wins and losses over its last four games. After getting blown out by Cedar Rapids last Friday, the Saints ended Indiana’s 12-game unbeaten streak the next night in a 5-4 thriller. Last year’s champs then got squeezed out by Youngstown two nights ago to fall back into fourth place, but they reclaimed a tie for third with last night’s win.
- Latvia’s Zemgus Girgensons sat out Tuesday’s USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Muskegon, but he will likely make an appearance tonight. The league’s top-ranked NHL Draft-eligible skater according to NHL Central Scouting has played in back-to-back games coming off an undisclosed injury. Dubuque’s leading scorer with 31 points, Girgensons had a massive four-assist night last Saturday against Indiana.
- Morris started in the Saints’ net Oct. 22 in Muskegon, but he sustained a lower-body injury midway through the first and had to leave the game. Backup Gabe Antoni finished the shutout, supported by goals from Girgensons, Shane Sooth and Tyler Lundey. Sooth is one point behind Girgensons for the team lead, while Lundey’s not far back with 24 points.
UPCOMING HOME GAMES
TONIGHT vs. DUBUQUE at 5:15 p.m. – The defending Clark Cup champions come to town for a special start time on the last Sunday game of the regular season.
Friday, February 3 vs. CEDAR RAPIDS at 7:15 p.m. – Dollar Beer/Dollar Hot Dog Night presented by John Morrell. Offer stands from 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, February 4 vs. CHICAGO at 7:15 p.m.
Friday, February 11 vs. YOUNGSTOWN at 7:15 p.m. – Robin Bouchard Night / Join the Lumberjacks as they retire the No. 32 jersey of the greatest goal scorer in minor-league hockey history! It’s also Dollar Beer/Dollar Hot Dog Night presented by John Morrell.
FOLLOW THE JACKS ALL SEASON
92.5 FM The Outlaw is the exclusive radio home of your Muskegon Lumberjacks! Listen over the air or check out the action streaming online at 925fmtheoutlaw.com as Voice of the Jacks Matt Gajtka has the play-by-play. The Meijer Pregame Show begins 30 minutes prior to every game. The USHL is also partnering with FastHockey.com to provide video coverage of all league games this season!
JackSixty presented by Cinema Carousel is a weekly hour-long talk show devoted to your Muskegon Lumberjacks every Tuesday night from 6-7 p.m. at Hennessy’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. Located at the corner of Jefferson and Clay Streets in the heart of Muskegon, Hennessy’s plays host as Gajtka talks hockey with Lumberjacks coaches, players and other featured guests on 98.3 FM WLCS.
THE SOCIAL NETWORKS
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