Lumberjacks beat Lincoln in overtime, Pitlick becomes the team’s single-season scoring king [VIDEO]

By Steve Gunn and Dave Hart
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON – What a way for Rem Pitlick to become the Muskegon Lumberjacks’ single-season scoring king.

The Lumberjacks trailed the Lincoln Stars by a goal with 6:25 left in the final period on Friday.LSJ Logo incert

To make matters worse, they received a five-minute major penalty which left them shorthanded for most of the remaining time.

But Pitlick came to the rescue, like he has so many times this season.

He took a beautiful feed from Tyler Irvine just to the right of the Lincoln goal and scored a shorthanded tally with 5:15 remaining, tying the game at 4-4.

Muskegon Lumberjack Rem Pitlick skates near center ice. Photo/Carol Cooper

Muskegon Lumberjack Rem Pitlick skates near center ice. Photo/Carol Cooper

Then Pitlick finished off his heroics about four minutes into overtime, taking a pass from Matej Paulovic and scoring a power play goal from the right circle, giving the Jacks a thrilling 5-4 win over Lincoln in front of 2,556 fans at L.C. Walker Arena.

The goal was Pitlick’s 42nd of the season, setting a new single-season team record. He passed Matheson Iacopelli, who scored 41 goals in 2013-14.

“I received a great pass from Matej, I gave it back to him backdoor, then he gave me the puck back and it kind of fluttered, but a goal is a goal and it went in,” Pitlick said about the winning goal.

“It’s a nice honor obviously,” he added regarding the scoring record. “All I can do is thank my coaches and teammates, we’ve made plays all season and it has been a lot of fun.”

Muskegon also got another strong performance from goalie Joey Daccord, who stopped 44 of 48 shots on the night. Daccord had 75 saves in two home games last weekend, as well.

Overall the Jacks played like a team that still has something to play for, even though there will be no postseason competition. They trailed 3-2 in the second period and 4-3 in the third before rallying for the victory.

The Lumberjacks also continued their recent impressive performance on home ice. They are now 6-1-1 in their last eight games at Walker Arena.

The Jacks will play their final home game of the season Saturday at 7:15 p.m. against Team USA.

“We are proud to be playing in Muskegon and I think we work hard and do a good job here,” said Lumberjacks Coach Todd Krygier, whose team improved to 24-23-7 on the season. “Things haven’t always gone like we’ve like them too, but I haven’t complained about effort this season.”

The Lumberjacks opened the scoring with a goal from Collin Adams at 4:18 of the first period. Pitlick and Paulovic assisted on the tally.

Lincoln tied the game 1-1 with a power play goal 3:16 into the second period by Tanner Laczynzski.

No. 8 Zach Berzolla Lincoln's No. 2 Dominick Mersch. Photo/Carol Cooper

No. 8 Zach Berzolla Lincoln’s No. 2 Dominick Mersch. Photo/Carol Cooper

Muskegon responded with an awkward goal that was credited to Logan Drevitch. His shot caromed off the boards behind the Lincoln net, rebounded off a Stars defenseman and trickled into the goal at 5:12 of the second period.

The Stars took a 3-2 lead with goals from Mike Gillespie and Ludvig Hoff at 7:06 and 15:39 of the second period, respectively.

The Lumberjacks tied the game at 3-3 on a goal by Chris Klack at the 16 second mark of the third.  Mitch Eliot and Dante Palecco assisted.

Lincoln regained its lead at 3:14 of the third period on Laczynzski’s second goal of the contest.

The Jacks faced a big obstacle when Adams received a five-minute major penalty for tripping, along with a game misconduct, with 6:25 left.

But Irvine turned the tables when he stole the puck from former Muskegon captain Trevor Hamilton near the Lumberjack blue line, then broke in with Pitlick toward Lincoln goalie Peyton Jones with no defenders in front of them.

Irvine slipped the puck to Pitlick at the last moment, and Pitlick scored the tie-breaker from short range with 5:15 remaining.

Lincoln drew a penalty 3:20 into the overtime period, giving the Jacks a power play opportunity. Paulovic found Pitlick with a pass in the right circle 36 seconds later, and Pitlick scored the game-winning and record-breaking goal.

“I put Rem on the ice because I figured if we can get a bounce he can get one and put us back in the game,” said Krygier. “Why wouldn’t I play him, he is the best player in the league.”

Muskegon Lumberjack goalie Joey Daccord gets ready to make the save. Photo/Carol Cooper

Muskegon Lumberjack goalie Joey Daccord gets ready to make the save. Photo/Carol Cooper

 

 

 

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