Local Sports Journal

The Muskegon Lumberjacks were making the long trek to Iowa on Wednesday for the 2012 USHL Fall Classic.

It’s a chance not only for the Jacks’ coaching staff to evaluate their players, but for Division 1 college scouts to take a look at the talent level of each USHL team. Among those expected to be taking in the action is former Muskegon Lumberjacks’ coach Kevin Patrick, who is now an assistant at the University of Vermont.

The team bus pulled out from L.C. Walker Arena at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning for the long trip to Sioux Falls, Iowa. All 16 member teams will play three games each over the course of four days.

The Lumberjacks will take on the Waterloo Blackhawks at 11 a.m. Thursday, the Sioux Falls Stampede at 5 p.m. Friday and the Lincoln Stars at 2 p.m. Saturday before heading back home.

It’s the final three exhibition games before the USHL regular season starts on Sept. 29. The Jacks host Team USA at 7:15 p.m. at Walker Arena in their home opener.

In two previous exhibition games, the Jacks defeated to the Chicago Steel and lost to the Indiana Ice.

For head coach Jim McKenzie and the Jacks coaching staff, it’s a final look at their players in game conditions. The end of the exhibition season also means the Jacks’ coaching staff will have to finalize their roster prior to the start of the 64-game regular season.

* Season tickets for 32 home games remain on sale for $200 each.