Muskegon Lumberjacks blanked by Waterloo Black Hawks, 3-0

By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal

There was little room for mistakes on the part of the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Friday night.

Not with a team as talented as the Waterloo Black Hawks coming to town.

Muskegon Lumberjack forward Tyler Heinonen (27) skates up the ice ahead of two Waterloo players during Friday’s game at L.C. Walker Arena. Photo/Ellen DeLuca.

In the end, the Black Hawks skated away with a 3-0 victory at L.C. Walker Arena in a game played before a turnout of 1,609. It was Muskegon’s first loss in regulation in nine games this season.

“When you play a team like that there is very little room for error,” Lumberjack coach Jim McKenzie said. “We weren’t real sharp at the start in terms of our communication, but our effort was good.”

Waterloo, a playoff finalist a year ago, grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the opening period on goals by Zach Stepan and Kyle Schmidt.

With the Black Hawks buzzing in front of the net, it appeared Muskegon goaltender Kevin Lindskoug had the puck covered, but it was poked free and seconds later, Stepan had it in the net.

Ian McCoshen’s shot from the right point at 17:25 was put into the net by Schmidt and the visitors took that 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

After a scoreless second period, Waterloo added an insurance goal from Vince Hinostroza. That goal was assisted by Stepan, who gained control of the puck behind the Jacks’ net by Lindskoug.

“It’s just little stuff like that and again, we had great chances and we didn’t finish them,” McKenzie said. “They played a really good road game. They tried to keep everything to the outside.

“Still got some chances and breakaways and stuff, but that’s what happens when you play a team that good,” McKenzie said.

Muskegon had a 34-33 advantage in shots and had some quality scoring chances, but between some bad breaks and the goaltending of Eamon McAdam, none ended up in the net. It was McAdam’s second shutout of the season. His record is now 4-0.

“That’s what we want to be like to be in the end. Hopefully it’s a good learning experience for us,” McKenzie said.

Now comes the task of hosting last year’s USHL champion, the Green Bay Gamblers, who are off to a slow start, but that doesn’t mean a thing to McKenzie.

“We can’t take anyone lightly,” he said. “We aren’t that good. Tonight we played a team that was a finalist and (Saturday) night we get the team that won it. These are two of the best teams in the league, always are.”

 

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