By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal

It took a while, but the Muskegon Lumberjacks stayed focused as the task at hand and defeated Team USA 2-1 on Saturday night at L.C. Walker Arena.

The Lumberjacks peppered Team USA (U-17) goaltender Edwin Minney with 42 shots, including 19 in the opening period.

Michael Brodzinski

But it wasn’t until the midpoint of the second period that Muskegon finally put a shot behind Minney and took a 1-0 lead. Early in the third period, Max Shuart added the second goal and that was all that goaltender Kevin Lindskoug needed to post his 10th victory of the season.

“I think it sort of gets into our head a little bit but we have to keep shooting and get pucks to the net,” Brodzinki said. “Eventually, it will go in.”

The Lumberjack defenseman started the scoring in the second period with a solid move in the offensive zone. He skated in from the left point, split a pair of Team USA players and fired a shot that beat Minney.

It stayed that way until 1 minute had elapsed in the second period.

That’s when Muskegon advantage of a Team USA miscue.

“They had a bad turnover and (Adam) Gilmour made a nice pass to me and I just lucky on the finish there,” Shuart said. “Had to break the slump, it had been a while so it was nice to bury one.”

Rasmus Bengtsson and Ben Foster assisted on Shuart’s seventh goal of the season.

Max Shuart

Just about the time thoughts of another Lindskoug shutout may have been popping into some people’s heads, but Team USA got on the board when Ryan MacInnis scored his second goal of the season when he stuffed a shot into the net behind Lindskoug. That goal came on the power play.

Still, Lindskoug was solid in raising his record to 10-6-1. He faced just 18 shots.

“It’s good to give him a night like that once in a while,” Muskegon coach Jim McKenzie said. “It would have been nice still if we had tacked on a few more and give him that breathing room.”

Overall, Muskegon improved its record to 13-7-1 for 27 points. It was a rare one-game weekend for the Jacks.

“It was actually really good,” Shuart said. “We had a good week of preparation and practice so we had a lot of good work in. It was nice to leave it all on the ice for one.”

The Team USA (U-17) team is coached by Danton Cole. The 64-game regular-season schedule is split between the U-17 and U-18 teams. The U-17 team is now 0-7-1. The U-18 team is 5-4-0.