Lumberjacks show Coach Babcock and Fargo how good they can be, posting a 5-2 victory over the Force

By Dave Hart
Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON – There was a buzz around the L.C Walker Arena Friday night, and it wasn’t all focused on the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock was in attendance to watch his son Mike play for the Fargo Force.

Lumberjacks’ No. 27 Max Humitz puts the puck in the net for the Jack’s second goal on the night.  Photo/Eric Sturr

Lumberjacks’ No. 27 Max Humitz puts the puck in the net for the Jack’s second goal on the night. Photo/Eric Sturr

But the Lumberjacks were not distracted by the presence of a celebrity. They used a three-goal third period to claim a 5-2 victory over the Force – and the Babcocks – in front of 1,841 fans.

The Jacks are now 22-11-3 on the season, good for 47 points and second place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.

Muskegon will host Fargo again Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

Muskegon has now won three out of its last four games after going through its toughest stretch of the season when they won only one out of six.

The recently constructed forward line of Will Graber, Max Humitz and Mark Petaccio produced six total points for Muskegon, combining for one goal and five assists.

“They actually got some key goals last game against Bloomington,” said Muskegon coach Todd Krygier. “So we kept that line together, I like that line.”

Lumberjacks’ goalie Eric Schierhorn paddles away a Force shot.  Photo/Eric Sturr

Lumberjacks’ goalie Eric Schierhorn paddles away a Force shot. Photo/Eric Sturr

Robbie DeMontis opened the scoring for the Jacks late in the first period. He took a pass from Humitz and fired the puck from the slot to give the Jacks a 1-0 edge.

Fargo’s Zach Yon tied the game 1-1 with a goal from the right side of the slot in front of the net at 17:05 of the second period.

Humitz gave the Jacks the lead back with a goal 24 seconds later. Petaccio and Graber picked up the assists on the tally.

Muskegon’s Adrian Sloboda scored on a slap shot from the right point 44 seconds into the third period to give the Lumberjacks a 3-1 lead. Humitz and Graber assisted.

Lumberjacks’ No. 2 Mitch Eliot seals off Fargo's TJ Roo from the puck behind the Jack’s net. Photo/Eric Sturr

Lumberjacks’ No. 2 Mitch Eliot seals off Fargo’s TJ Roo from the puck behind the Jack’s net. Photo/Eric Sturr

Fargo’s Matt AcArdle narrowed the score to 3-2 at the 12 minute mark of the third period.

But Christian Wolanin gave the Jacks their two goal lead back at 14:42 of the third, taking a pass from Griffen Molino while skating through the middle of the slot and firing it past Fargo goalie Robbie Bevdoun.

Steven Merl added a goal for the Jacks 1:47 later to seal the victory for Muskegon.

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