Lumberjacks rally and pull within a goal, then fall apart down the stretch of a 6-2 loss to Green Bay

By Steve Gunn and Dave Hart
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON – Home is where sports teams usually get most of their wins.

That’s pretty alarming news for the Muskegon Lumberjacks.LSJ Logo incert

The Jacks lost their fifth home game in six tries this season, falling to the Green Bay Gamblers 6-2 on Saturday in front of 1,082 fans at L.C. Walker Arena.

Matej Paulovic crosses the blue line against Green Bay's No. 11 Jared Spooner and No. 12 Chris Grando. Photo/Jason Goorman

Matej Paulovic crosses center ice against Green Bay’s No. 11 Jared Spooner and No. 12 Chris Grando. Photo/Jason Goorman

Muskegon is now 2-6 overall and stuck in last place in the United States Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.

The loss came on the heels of a loss to Green Bay on Friday. The two defeats spoiled what started out as a promising home stand with a victory over Chicago on Wednesday.

Even worse for the Jacks, they now head out for a four-game road trip, starting next Friday in Chicago.

If they can’t win at home, what are the chances on the road?

“Heading out on the road may be a blessing in disguise for us right now,” said Lumberjacks Coach Todd Krygier. “It’s just been a strange comedy of errors.”

Krygier noted that the Jacks pulled their way back from a three-goal deficit and only trailed 3-2 in the third period. But then they collapsed and gave up three unanswered goals to end the game.

“We pulled within a goal, then we killed a fantastic penalty and we were rallying,” he said. “But then we gave up that fourth goal and started pressing. It was deflating and hard to recover from.”

Muskegon's Chris Klack nearly finds the net. Photo/Jason Goorman

Muskegon’s Chris Klack nearly finds the net. Photo/Jason Goorman

The Jacks were plagued by a impotent power play for the second straight game, going 0-for-3 with a man advantage after going 1-for-5 on Friday.

Muskegon also had a lot of unforced turnovers, giving Green Bay far too many easy scoring chances.

Perhaps the best example came two minutes into the game, when Green Bay’s

MUSKEGON – Home is where sports teams usually get most of their wins.

That’s becoming very bad news for the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

The Jacks lost their fifth home game in six tries this season, falling to the Green Bay Gamblers 6-2 on Saturday in front of 1,082 fans at L.C. Walker Arena.

Muskegon is now 2-6 overall and stuck in last place in the United States Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.

The loss came on the heels of a loss to Green Bay on Friday. The two defeats spoiled what started out as a promising home stand with a victory on Wednesday.

Even worse for the Jacks, they now head out for a four-game road trip, starting next Friday in Chicago.

If they can’t win at home, what are the chances on the road?

“Heading out on the road may be a blessing in disguise for us right now,” said Lumberjacks Coach Todd Krygier. “It’s just been a strange comedy of errors.”

Krygier noted that the Jacks pulled their way back from a two-goal deficit and only trailed 3-2 in the third period. But then they collapsed and gave up three unanswered goals to end the game.

“We pulled within a goal, then we killed a fantastic penalty and we were rallying,” he said. “But then we gave up that fourth goal and started pressing. It was deflating and hard to recover from.”

The Jacks were plagued by a impotent power play for the second straight game, going 0-for-3 with a man advantage after going 1-for-5 on Friday.

Muskegon also had a lot of unforced turnovers, giving Green Bay far too many easy scoring chances.

Perhaps the best example came two minutes into the game, when Green Bay’s Brett Gruber picked up a lazy, loose puck at his own blue line, skated in alone and scored a shorthanded goal.

Green Bay never relinquished the lead.

“The guys are working hard,” Krygier said. “I’m not upset with the effort. It’s just the execution and being able to play at this level. That’s what it comes down to.”

The Gamblers added to their lead with a goal from Jack Poehling at 13:44 of the first period. They led 2-0 at the first intermission.

Jared Spooner gave the Gamblers a 3-0 lead with a goal at 15:21 of the second period.

The Lumberjacks finally found the back of the net at 16:07 of the second period on a goal by Rem Pitlick. Trevor Hamilton and Daniel DiGrande assisted on the tally.

Collin Adams cut the Jacks’ deficit to 3-2 with his fourth goal of the season at 1:40 of the third period. The goal was assisted by Chris Klack and Hamilton.

But the Gamblers sealed the win with three unanswered goals in the third period – one from Connor Murphy at 6:19 and a pair from Ryan Smith at 6:29 and 11:21, respectively.

Green Bay had a 44-37 advantage in shots.

Joey Daccord started in goal for Muskegon and played a little over two periods. He stopped 33 of 37 shots. Backup Devin Cooley came in and stopped five of seven shots.

Green Bay goalie Kevin Reich got the victory.

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