at waterloo black hawks
young arena, waterloo, iowa
saturday, MARCH 31, 2012
The Muskegon Lumberjacks continue their three-game weekend on the road Saturday night in Waterloo, as they confront the Black Hawks for the second and final time this season. The Jacks are 4-5-0 against Western Conference opponents, with one of those four victories coming Oct. 30 when they doubled up Waterloo 4-2 at L.C. Walker Arena. Tonight the venue switches to always-raucous Young Arena, longtime home of the Black Hawks, now in their 33rd year in the USHL.
Last time out
The Lumberjacks (17-30-7, 41 points / 8th in East) fell to 0-3-1 against the defending league title-holders when they dropped a 5-3 decision in Dubuque Friday night. Max Shuart (Michigan) and Dakota Klecha (Ferris State) buried goals in the first period to give Muskegon a 2-1 lead, but the Saints scored three in the second to take command. Michigan State recruit Matt DeBlouw added a shorthanded goal and an assist to give him 32 points in his second USHL season, second-most on the team.
The Black Hawks (30-18-6, 66 points / 3rd in West) started a three-game home weekend by squeezing past Tri-City 4-2 Friday evening. Notre Dame commit Vince Hinostroza picked up a pair of goals to give him 17 on the season; the USHL sophomore has 38 points, including a five-point night against Dubuque two weeks ago. Third-year Hawk Jamie Hill (New Hampshire) had three points St. Patrick’s Day and he matched that output last night, earning three assists.
- Entering Friday night Muskegon had been 10-4-4 when leading through 20 minutes of play, but a three-goal Saints second period put them behind entering the third period. Still, grabbing an early lead has been important for the Jacks this season, as they are 2-16-3 when trailing after the first. Interestingly, one of those two victories happened against Waterloo Oct. 30, when Muskegon entered the second down 1-0.
- DeBlouw’s shorthanded goal was the first of his 85-game USHL career and the Lumberjacks’ seventh of the season. A native of Chesterfield, Mich., DeBlouw now has six points in his last four games; the future MSU Spartan has eight multipoint games this year after his two-point effort Friday night. He is three points behind the suspended Ryan Lomberg (Maine) for the team lead.
- Klecha enjoyed the last of three consecutive two-goal games Oct. 30 against Waterloo, as he burned the since-traded Jay Williams twice to lead the Jacks’ charge that night. DeBlouw had a pair of assists that night, and Jon Padulo deposited a late 5-on-3 power play goal to lock up the victory at home, which was part of a 6-1-0 run for Muskegon.
Black hawks down
- After their win last night, the Black Hawks have claimed six of their last seven games but are still just one point ahead of Fargo for third place in the Western Conference. With six games left, Waterloo is still within range of the second-place Lincoln Stars, who fell to Omaha Friday. The Hawks are four points behind the Stars and the first-round bye that comes with a top-two position entering the Clark Cup playoffs.
- 5-foot-6 16-year-old forward Taylor Cammarata has been a revelation in his first league season, scoring 59 points in 54 games so far this season, good for eighth-best in the USHL. The uncommitted Plymouth, Minn., native had a five-point game last Friday vs. Sioux Falls, giving him a chance to be the youngest player ever to score 60 points in the Tier I league.
- Cammarata and fourth-year Black Hawk Tyler Zepeda each scored in the two teams’ only previous meeting, but lately Waterloo has been much more explosive than they showed back in late October. The Hawks have scored four or more goals in six of their last seven games, all wins. They are averaging five red lights per match over that stretch, pushing their season average to 3.48 goals per game, fifth-best in the USHL.
UPCOMING GAMES (All times eastern)
- TONIGHT @ WATERLOO at 8:05 p.m.
- TOMORROW @ GREEN BAY at 4:05 p.m.
- Friday, April 6 @ GREEN BAY at 8:05 p.m.
- Saturday, April 7 vs. DUBUQUE at 7:15 p.m. – Fan Appreciation Night / The Lumberjacks thank you for your support this season! Enjoy $10 tickets and giveaways all night long.
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!