VS. Dubuque fighting saints
L.C. WALKER ARENA, MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN
SATURDAY, april 7, 2012
The Muskegon Lumberjacks return home for their final game of the 2011-12 season at L.C. Walker Arena, facing off with the defending Clark Cup champions, the Dubuque Fighting Saints. These two teams will match wits twice in the last eight days of the USHL regular season, finishing the slate with a meeting next Saturday in Dubuque. The Saints are 4-0-0 against the Lumberjacks this season, with Muskegon earning its only standings point of the series Jan. 29 in a 4-3 overtime loss at home. Dubuque also helped the Jacks kick off their home schedule this year, as the Saints visited Oct. 22 and skated away with a 4-0 road victory.
Last time out
The Lumberjacks (17-33-7, 41 points / 8th in East) have lost four straight regulation games for the third time this campaign after dropping a 7-3 decision to the league-best Green Bay Gamblers Friday night at the Resch Center. Ryan Lomberg (Maine) helped Muskegon build a 3-1 lead midway through the first period, stunning the Gamblers with a goal and two assists. Green Bay surged back with the game’s final six goals to snatch the win, but Jon Padulo and Tyler Heinonen (Michigan Tech) also had goals and Michael Brodzinski (Minnesota) earned his first league point.
The Fighting Saints (34-19-4, 72 points / 3rd in East) pushed their winning streak to four games with a 4-3 comeback victory over Waterloo Friday at home. Dubuque clinched the “Cowbell Cup” with the win, which signifies eastern Iowa USHL supremacy. Kevin Morris and Milos Bubela (RPI) each registered a goal and an assist, with Bubela capping a two-goal third-period rally with 11:39 to play. Defenseman Matthew Caito tied the game earlier in the third, and captain Zemgus Girgensons (Vermont) scored his team-best 21st goal on a penalty shot in the first frame.
- Lomberg was suspended three games for a late elbowing penalty vs. Green Bay two weeks ago, but the Ontario native picked up right where he left off with his second three-point game of the season Friday night. He has now scored a goal in four straight games, the longest streak by a Lumberjack this season, giving him a team-high 22 goals and 38 points in his first USHL go-around.
- One day after Affiliate List defenseman Brodzinski wrote his name on a USHL scoresheet for the first time, another Muskegon prospect will get a similar opportunity tonight. Forward Riley Alferd will wear No. 13 in his second game for the Lumberjacks and first at home. The Vancouver, Wash., native was chosen in the fifth round by Muskegon in last spring’s Futures Draft and played this season for the L.A. Jr. Kings midget major club.
- Matt DeBlouw (Michigan State) and defenseman Ryan Bullock (Dartmouth) each have a goal and two assists in the four-game season series with Dubuque. Dakota Klecha (Ferris State) has two of his 17 goals against the Fighting Saints, including a brilliant score off the rush last Friday at the Mystique Ice Center. DeBlouw also scored the only shorthanded goal of his USHL career that night.
- Padulo snapped a 14-game goal drought with the first score of the game last night, his first red light since Feb. 25 vs. Indiana at L.C. Walker Arena. The Rochester, N.Y., product had nine goals in his first 26 USHL games after a three-year stint in the Ontario Hockey League, but only three in his next 30 prior to Friday.
- With John Keeney committing to the University of Alaska Fairbanks this week, Hayden Stewart is set to be the Lumberjacks netminder of the future. The 17-year-old made his 10th USHL start last night in Green Bay, but the Illinoisan has fared better at home early in his Muskegon career, posting three of his four wins and a save percentage significantly better within the confines of L.C. Walker Arena.
UPCOMING GAMES (All times eastern)
- TONIGHT vs. DUBUQUE at 7:15 p.m. – Fan Appreciation Night / The Lumberjacks thank you for your support this season! Enjoy prizes and giveaways all evening, plus a post-game jersey auction and skate with the players
- Friday, April 13 @ CEDAR RAPIDS at 8:05 p.m.
- Saturday, April 14 @ DUBUQUE at 8:05 p.m.
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 Tuesday nights 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 and co-host Antonio Bartoli talk hockey with Lumberjacks coaches, players and other featured guests on 98.3 FM WLCS!
THE SOCIAL NETWORKS
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