The Muskegon Lumberjacks usually win when they score first.
But that trend ended when the Jacks scored the first goal against Team USA, but then dropped an 8-5 decision at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan.
Muskegon is now 12-8 on the season, good for 24 points and second place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.
Team USA was led by Brady Tkachuk with two goals and an assist, Max Gildon with two goals, and Quinn Hughes with five assists.
The Lumberjacks were paced by Andrei Svechnikov with a goal and two assists. Bo Hanson and Casey Gilling each added a goal and an assist.
Gilling opened the scoring for the Lumberjacks 2:46 into the first period to give Muskegon an early 1-0 lead. Svechnikov picked up the lone assist on the tally.
Team USA responded with four unanswered first period goals to take a 4-1 advantage after the opening stanza.
Gildon scored goals at 9:31 and 10:38 of the first period. Jacob Tortora and Josh Maniscalco added goals for Team USA at 14:02 and 19:39, respectively.
The Lumberjacks cut their deficit 42 seconds into the second period on a Svechnikov goal. Collin Adams and Hanson assisted.
Team USA increased its lead to 5-2 on a goal by Phil Kemp at the 7:12 mark of the second period.
Koby Bender cut the Lumberjacks’ deficit to 5-3 on a power play goal 16:26 into the second period. Zach Berzolla and Derek Daschke each picked up assists.
Logan Cockerill responded with a goal for Team USA at the 3:25 mark of the third period to increase the home team’s lead to 6-3.
Hanson scored a power play goal for Muskegon 9:35 into the third to cut the Lumberjack deficit to 6-4 before Team USA collected two goals from Tkachuk (10:55 and 13:25).
Colby Bukes closed out the scoring for the Lumberjacks with his first career USHL goal at the 18:14 mark of the third period. Svechnikov and Gilling assisted.
Team USA goalie Dylan St. Cyr stopped 25 of 30 Muskegon shots, while Lumberjack goaltender Keith Petruzzelli struggled, allowing eight goals on 34 shots.