Muskegon Lumberjacks slide past Green Bay Gamblers, 3-2

By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal

It certainly wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was enough to get the job done on Saturday night.

The Muskegon Lumberjacks scored the first three goals, allowed the final two goals and emerged with a 3-2 victory over the defending Clark Cup champion Green Bay Gamblers on Saturday night.

Ben Foster

The USHL game was witnessed by 1,732 spectators at L.C. Walker Arena. For the weekend, the Jacks split the first two games of their four-game homestand.

Early on, it looked like it might be a night for a lot of guys to get on the scoresheet. That’s because the Jacks scored two goals early and they came just 20 seconds apart.

“Goals come in bunches, but it was good to get up two goals,” Lumberjack forward Ben Foster said. “I don’t think we were expecting to score 20 goals, obviously. They won the cup last year, they are a great team. They are off to a rough start, but they played hard tonight.”

Foster  scored his first of two goals at 6:25 of the first period. Foster tried to make a that was blocked, but the puck returned to his stick. Then he wristed a shot past Gambler goaltender Mike Rotolo. That goal was assisted by Zach Yoder.

Michael Brozinski gave Muskegon a 2-0 lead just 20 seconds later. After leaping out of the penalty box, the Jacks’ defensman broke in alone on the Gambler net. His shot was saved by Rotolo, but the rebound slid to Brodzinski, who swatted the puck into the net for his second goal of the season.

At 8:03 of the second period, Muskegon increased its lead on Foster’s second of the night, seventh of the season.

Muskegon Lumberjack goaltender Kevin Lindskoug was the winning goaltender in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over the Green Bay Gamblers. Photo/Ellen DeLuca

“I got a pass from (Conor) Garland and kind of went down the right wing,” Foster said. “The defenseman pivoted kind of badly so I had to step on him and just went down the right side.”

A minute later, Green Bay got on the board when Nicholas Schilkey scored his second goal of the season.

Kevin Irwin scored at 2:13 of the final period and that forced the Jacks to hang on for the next 18 minutes.

They did just that and improved their record to 8-1-1 for 17 points in the Eastern Conference standings. Green Bay’s struggles continue as they fall to 1-7-2.

Don’t be deceived by their record, said Jacks’ coach Jim McKenzie.

“Dubuque and Waterloo,” McKenzie said. “These are the teams they are banging heads with and they have better records than us. It’s not like they have an easy schedule.”

Kevin Lindskoug had 29 saves and improved his record to 6-1-1.

“The way we tried to approach it was we played a team that was in the finals (Friday) night and tonight we played the team that won it all and lost 8 games all season,” McKenzie said.  “We did score two quick and I thought we played the second half as though it was going to be easy, for whatever reason.”

“The problem was we started turning the puck over and they are a very skilled team and they attacked back,” said McKenzie, whose team hosts Dubuque both Friday and Saturday nights at L.C. Walker Arena.

 

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