Muskegon Lumberjacks send school kids home happy with 6-5 victory over Cedar Rapids

Local Sports Journal

The Muskegon Lumberjacks showed off their offense on Wednesday morning in front of a large crowd of school kids at L.C. Walker Arena.

In the Hockey for Health game, the Lumberjacks defeated the Cedar Rapids Roughriders 6-5.

A late goal by Alex Toscano was the game-winner for the host Jacks.

Toscano, a recent addition to the team, scored his first USHL goal to put the Jacks on top for good with less than 3 minutes remaining in the third period.

Muskegon had fallen behind 2-0 in the opening period before storming back to get the victory and the two points in the USHL standings.

The RoughRiders (7-2-1, 15 points) were able to jump out to an early two-goal first period lead. It began with a shorthanded goal by Andrew Poturalski at the 11:28 mark of the opening period.

Later in the period, Mark Auk used some fancy stick-handling to maneuver his way through the Lumberjacks’ defense from the right point and scored to make it 2-0.

The Lumberjacks (7-6-2, 16 points) cut the deficit in half with 1:20 left in the first period. Carson Gatt fired a one-time shot from the left faceoff circle and beat Danny Tirone on the short side top shelf for his second goal of the season. Cooper Marody and Matt Mendelson assisted.

Early in the second period, Muskegon tied the game on a goal by Luc Snuggerud, another newcomer to the Jacks’ roster. Later, Muskegon’s Adam Larkin tied the game with a power-play tally and it was 3-2 in the Jacks’ favor.

For Larkin and Snuggerud, it was their first USHL goals.

Just 2:05 after the Snuggerud goal, Cedar Rapids evened the game at  3-3 on a goal by Alec Marsh.

Despite another Roughriders goal, Muskegon would have an answer with a Mendelson goal to regain the lead at 4-3. Mendelson found a loose puck in the left faceoff circle of the Cedar Rapids zone and roofed a backhand shot for his sixth goal of the season. Marody and Steven Spinner assisted on the red lighter.

The Lumberjacks notched their first two-goal lead (5-3) just 45 seconds into the final period as Trevor Morbeck received a pass from Matt Iacopelli and ripped a one-time shot home for his fourth of the season. Robbie DeMontis was credited with the assist.

Cedar Rapids continued to grind its way back into it and made it a 5-4 game at the 3:16 mark. Judd Peterson scored to make it 5-4 with his seventh goal of the season.

Nick Master’s backhander evened the score 5-5  by scoring on a 3-on-2 break.

That set up the heroics by Toscano in the final minutes.

Cedar Rapids would pull Tirone for the extra attacker with just over a minute to go, but it could not produce a tying goal.

Jordan Uhelski stopped 21 shots for Muskegon in the home victory. The Lumberjacks held a 34-26 edge in shots.

The Lumberjacks’ offense was led by Marody’s four assists, along with Mendelson’s one goal and two assists. Snuggerud also chipped in with a goal and an assist from his defensive position.

Muskegon will conclude their four-game homestand with a pair of games against the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Friday and Saturday. Both games begin at 7:15 p.m.

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