Local Sports Journal

The opening night verdict was a happy one for the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

It just took a little time to materialize.

The Jacks fell behind the Team USA Under-17 squad 2-1 after two periods Friday night in Ann Arbor, then suddenly found their game.

Muskegon cut loose with four goals in the third period and skated away with a 5-2 victory in their first game of the United States Hockey League regular season.

The Lumberjacks play their home opener Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. against the Madison Capitols at L.C. Walker Arena.

“I thought Team USA played real well in the first two periods, and we were a little sloppy,” said Lumberjacks Coach Todd Krygier. “But we came out hard in the third period, we were more focused and more physical, and it paid off.”

Muskegon’s Matt Iacopelli, the league’s defending scoring champion, notched the first goal of the game 3:49 into the first period with an assist from David Trinkberger.

Team USA answered with a pair of first-period goals by Joey Anderson and Keeghan Howdeshell to take a 2-1 lead at the break.

There was no scoring in the second period.

The Lumberjacks knotted the score at 2-2 about halfway through the final period with a goal by Christian Wolanin. Cooper Marody had the assist on the tally.

The Jacks added two quick goals within 10 seconds, at 13:35 and 13:45 of the period, from Jack Rowe and Trinkberger. Iacopelli and goalie Eric Schiehorn assisted on Rowe’s tally while Matej Paulovic assisted on the second.

Tom Marchin got the final goal for the Lumberjacks with just over seven minutes remaining.