VS. INDIANA ICE
PEPSI COLISEUM, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are in Indianapolis six days after the Super Bowl circus left town, searching for their first road win since their last trip to the Hoosier State in mid-November. On Nov. 12, Muskegon wrapped up a two-win weekend with a thrilling 5-4 victory, as they held off a third-period Ice rally. Since then, the Jacks have gone 0-5-2 as the visiting team, including a “road” matchup against Indiana Jan. 28 at L.C. Walker Arena. The Ice prevailed 5-3 in a game moved from the Pepsi Coliseum due to Super Bowl festivities.
The Lumberjacks (11-20-4, 26 points / 8th in East) begin a stretch of five straight road games tonight after a five-game homestand finished up last night in Muskegon. All-time top minor-pro goal scorer Robin Bouchard had his No. 32 raised to the rafters, but Youngstown did all the celebrating during the game, jumping out to a 3-0 first period lead en route to a 5-2 win. Ryan Lomberg (Maine) recorded a goal and an assist in the third period, giving him 21 points on the season and tying him with Jon Padulo for the team lead in that category.
The Ice (24-10-5, 53 points / 2nd in East) pulled two points ahead of Dubuque for second place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 shutout of Chicago last night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. On the Ice’s 18th annual “Pack the House” night for charity, and 11,949 people watched goalie Jon Gillies make 32 saves in his third clean sheet of the season. Recent Russian import Kirill Lebedev scored the only goal Gillies needed early in the third, his first in the USHL. He later added an assist on countryman Daniil Tarasov’s empty netter that sealed the win.
- Following a 1-for-23 stretch in mid-January, the Lumberjacks’ power play has shifted into high gear, scoring at least one goal on the man advantage in four of the last five games (6-for-28). Muskegon has increased its conversion rate from 13.4 percent to 14.7 during that stretch, rising two spots in the USHL power play rankings. The current run began with two PPGs in five opportunities Jan. 28 vs. Indiana.
- A pair of rookie Minnesotans have found their offensive stride lately. Delano-born winger Tyler Heinonen (Michigan Tech) has scored eight of his 11 total points in the last nine games, including five of his eight goals. Eden Prairie native Ryan Bullock (Dartmouth) has six points (3g, 3a) in his last eight from the blueline; he is fourth on the team with 19 points.
- Padulo and Max Shuart (Michigan) earned three points apiece in the Lumberjacks’ win at Indiana Nov. 12. Lomberg (4a), Heinonen (3g) and Michigan State commit Joe Cox (1g, 2a) have also enjoyed success in the season series against the Ice. Muskegon is 2-1-1 against the team with the second-best record in the USHL.
- Lebedev, Tarasov and defenseman Ryan Obuchowski each factored in on both Indiana goals last night. While Lebedev is just finding his way in the USHL, Tarasov is second in the league in both goals (26) and points (52) and Michigan product Obuchowski (Yale) is first among blueliners in assists (22) and fourth in points (25).
- While Indiana’s power play (league-best 28.5 percent) powers their No. 3 offense, the Ice has also allowed the third-fewest goals in the USHL. Part of that defensive success is accounted for in their No. 3 penalty killing, but goaltender Gillies has been the backbone. The Northeastern recruit leads the league in wins (21), save percentage (.923) and shutouts, where his three ties him with five others.
- Leading scorer Tarasov has been limited to two points in four games against Muskegon, but his supporting cast has covered for him quite well. Robbie Baillargeon, Sean Kuraly and Jacob Fallon have combined for 15 points in the season series, with Baillargeon (Boston University) leading the way with six (4g, 2a).
UPCOMING GAMES (All times eastern)
TONIGHT @ INDIANA at 7:05 p.m.
TOMORROW @ YOUNGSTOWN at 2 p.m.
Friday, February 17 @ DUBUQUE at 8:05 p.m.
Saturday, February 28 @ CHICAGO at 8 p.m.
Monday, February 20 @ NTDP U-17 at 7 p.m.
Friday, February 24 vs. INDIANA at 7:15 p.m. – Dollar Beer/Dollar Hot Dog Night presented by John Morrell. Offer stands from 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, February 25 vs. INDIANA at 7:15 p.m. – Give Blood, Play Hockey / The Jacks and the Red Cross will be hosting a blood drive at L.C. Walker Arena from 10:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Contact Community Relations Director Sarah Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
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 during the season 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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