Lumberjacks’ winning streak snapped at four with a 3-1 loss to Youngstown Phantoms

By Dave Hart
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON – The Muskegon Lumberjacks early season winning streak came to an abrupt halt at L.C. Walker Arena on Friday night.LSJ Logo incert

The Jacks gave up three first period goals and struggled to mount a comeback, falling 3-1 to the Youngstown Phantoms in front of 1,420 spectators.

Anthony Del Gaizo controls the puck for Muskegon. Photo/Leo Valdez

Anthony Del Gaizo controls the puck for Muskegon. Photo/Leo Valdez

Muskegon, which will play the Phantoms again tomorrow night at home, had its winning streak stopped at four games.

The Lumberjacks are now 4-2 on the season, good for eight points and second place tie in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.

“I thought Youngstown was the better team right from the start,” said Lumberjacks Coach John LaFontaine. “It’s my job to have these guys ready, and I don’t think I had them prepared. I take responsibility as a coach.

“They (Youngstown) came with a game plan and executed. We have to compete and manage the puck better tomorrow.”

Youngstown opened the scoring, taking advantage of a Lumberjacks turnover in front of the net with an unassisted goal from Evan Wisocky at the 11:06 mark of the first period.

Casey Gilling prepares for the shot on Youngstown goalie Ivan Kulbakov. Photo/Leo Valdez

Casey Gilling prepares for the shot on Youngstown goalie Ivan Kulbakov. Photo/Leo Valdez

The Phantoms increased their lead to 2-0 on a goal from Alex Esposito 16:08 into the first period.

Youngstown added a power play goal at the 17:34 mark of the first period by Dominic Dockery and took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Lumberjacks pulled starting goaltender Keith Petruzzelli after the first period, when he surrendered three goals on 11 shots.

They brought in goalie Adam Brizgala, who stopped the bleeding by stopping all 15 shots he faced in the second and third periods.

But the Jacks failed to score in the second period, and only scored once in the third.

“Adam (Brizgala) came in and did his job, that’s for sure, but we still gave up too many shots and he had to make too many saves,” said LaFontaine, whose team was outshot 26-18.

Muskegon finally put the puck in the net at the 7:20 mark of the third period on an Andrei Svechnikov wrist shot, cutting the deficit to 3-1. Jachym Kondelik notched the lone assist on the tally.

But the Jacks couldn’t muster any more offense, and quietly suffered the loss.

Youngstown’s goaltender Ivan Kulbakov stopped 17 shots to pick up the win for the Phantoms.

 

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