Lumberjacks remain perfect in OT games with a 4-3 shootout win over Team USA

LocalSportsJournal.com

The Muskegon Lumberjacks tend to excel in games that go beyond regulation time.

Muskegon came into Friday night’s game against the Team USA Under-17 squad with a 5-0 record in overtime or overtime shootout games.

The Lumberjacks continue that success with a 4-3 shootout victory at Team USA Arena in Plymouth, Michigan.

The Jacks trailed after two periods, tied the score on a goal by Casey Gilling in the third period, then won the game on a shootout goal by Mikael Hakkarainen.

The victory was the second in a row for the Jacks, and allowed them to complete a four-game road trip with a 2-2 record after dropping the first two games.

Muskegon is now 15-10 on the season, good for 30 points and a second place tie with the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.

The Lumberjacks will return home to the L.C. Walker Arena next Saturday to face the first-place Chicago Steel. Game time will be 7:15 p.m.

Muskegon opened the scoring at the 18:01 mark of the first period on a goal from Jachym Kondelik. Marc Del Gaizo and Zach Berzolla had assists on the goal.

Team USA tied the game 1-1 at 2:22 of the second period on a goal by Tyler Weiss.

The Lumberjacks responded with a goal from Keenan Suthers 4:58 into the second period. New Lumberjack Caleb Everett picked up the lone assist in his first career USHL game.

Team USA tied the game again on a goal by Erik Middendorf at the 7:43 mark of the second period, then grabbed its first lead of the night on a Jake Goldowski goal with 4:18 left in the stanza.

Muskegon knotted the score at 3-3 on the goal by Gilling at 2:35 of the third period. Garrett Van Wyhe and Keeghan Howdeshell assisted.

The Lumberjacks and Team USA were forced to decide the game in a shootout after a scoreless seven-minute overtime period.

Hakkarainen scored the lone goal of the shootout during the fourth-round to give the Lumberjacks the victory.

Muskegon’s goaltender Keith Petruzzelli picked up the win in net, stopping 23 of 26 shots.

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