Local Sports Journal

The United States Hockey League announced the Muskegon Lumberjacks will be participating in the 2013 USHL Atlantic Challenge that will take place Sept. 6-8 in New York and New Jersey.

The three-day preseason event will feature six teams with three each coming from the Eastern and Western conferences.  Along with the Lumberjacks, the challenge will feature the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Youngstown Phantoms, Sioux City Musketeers, Sioux Falls Stampede, and Waterloo Black Hawks.

The challenge is being hosted by numerous youth and junior hockey organizations on the East Coast in the Long Island Gulls, New York Bobcats, and New Jersey Avalanche.  The two host venues for this year’s challenge will be the Ferraro Brothers Ice Center in East Meadow, New York along with The Ice House Arena in Hackensack, New Jersey.

The Ferraro brothers, Chris and Peter, are rumored to be the next owners of the Lumberjacks. An official announcement is expected Thursday after the league’s board of governors meet.

In a USHL release on the the USHL Atlantic Challenge, it read in part:

“One of the host venues for the USHL Atlantic Challenge – the Ferraro Brothers Ice Center in East Meadow, New York – has strong connections to the league and a participating team.  The brand new facility is owned and operated by a pair of USHL alumni, Chris Ferraro and Peter Ferraro, who played part of the 1991-92 season for the Waterloo Black Hawks.  They combined for 200 points (97g, 103a) that season, finishing as the League’s top two scorers, and Peter was named USHL Forward of the Year.  Chris had won the same honor the previous season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints.  Both Ferraro brothers were selected in the 1992 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers.”

The challenge will be the largest exhibition of USHL talent outside of the league’s Midwest base in its 11-year history as USA Hockey’s only Tier I junior league.

A full schedule of games for the USHL Atlantic Challenge will be released at a later date.