The Muskegon Lumberjacks have demonstrated early in the season that they’re not intimidated playing on the road.
The Lumberjacks ran their winning streak to four games, and captured their third road victory in a row, with a convincing 4-1 win Saturday over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
The win completed a weekend sweep for the Jacks, who also beat the Roughriders on Friday. It was the first time in team history – going back to the 2011 season – that Muskegon has gone into Cedar Rapids and won two straight.
“The kids are working hard and they deserve the success,” said Lumberjacks Coach John LaFontaine, whose team has now won three of four on the road this season. “We want to get better every week.”
The Lumberjacks are now 4-1, good for eight points and a first-place tie in the USHL’s Eastern Conference. They will return home to L.C. Walker Arena next Friday and Saturday for 7:15 p.m. games against the Youngstown Phantoms.
Muskegon goaltender Adam Brizgala got the win, stopping 22 of 23 shots as the Lumberjacks outshot Cedar Rapids by a 27-23 margin. That followed Friday night’s strong performance by fellow goalie Keith Petruzzelli.
“We felt coming into the season that we had two strong goaltenders,” LaFontaine said. “Brizgala showed his strength tonight and I’m happy for him.”
The first period ended in a scoreless tie, with the Lumberjacks outshooting Cedar Rapids by an 11-7 margin.
Muskegon opened the scoring 10:20 into the second period on a goal from Anthony Del Gaizo. Logan Drevitch and Keenan Suthers picked up assists.
The Lumberjacks increased their lead to 2-0 with a goal by Andrei Svechnikov at the 15:41 mark of the second period. Bo Hanson notched the lone assist on the tally.
The RoughRiders responded with 1:34 left in the second period on a goal from Matt Hudie to cut their deficit to 2-1.
But the Lumberjacks slammed the door in the third period.
Collin Adams scored 4:25 into the period, with assists fronm Svechnikov and Zach Berzolla.
Adams added an empty net goal with 33 seconds left in the game to give the Lumberjacks their final 4-1 advantage.