Anthony Del Gaizo’s three-goal hat trick propels Lumberjacks past Chicago Steel

LocalSportsJournal.com

The Muskegon Lumberjacks still have a chance to open the USHL Clark Cup playoffs at the L.C. Walker Arena.

The Lumberjacks entered Friday night’s game against the Chicago Steel tied for second place in the Eastern Conference with Dubuque.

Muskegon kept its home ice advantage hopes alive, scoring three unanswered third period goals to propel the Lumberjacks over Chicago 5-2 at the Fox Valley Ice Arena.

The Lumberjacks set a franchise record for wins in a season, improving their record to 36-18-5 on the season. They have 77 points in the standings and are just two points behind Chicago, which clinched the Eastern Conference title last Saturday.

Muskegon will close its regular season on Saturday on the road against the Bloomington Thunder. Faceoff is slated for 8:00 p.m.

The Lumberjacks will need a win and a Dubuque loss to open the playoffs at home next Friday night.

Anthony Del Gaizo paced the Lumberjacks with a three-goal hat trick, while his brother Marc Del Gaizo chipped in with two assists.

The Lumberjacks opened the scoring at the 6:06 mark of the first period on a goal from Mark Cheremeta.

The Steel tied the game 1-1 at the 8:24 mark of the first period on a goal by Jake Jaremko.

Chicago gained a 2-1 advantage on an unassisted goal seven seconds into the second period from Tyler Gratton.

Muskegon tied the game 2-2 at the 12:09 mark of the second period on a power play goal from Anthony Del Gaizo.

The game remained tied 2-2 heading into the final period. Muskegon had a 22-19 advantage in shots on goal.

The Lumberjacks regained their lead at 3-2 with a shorthanded goal at the 4:08 mark of the third period by Matt Steeves.

Muskegon increased its advantage to 4-2 with a power play goal 41 seconds later from Anthony Del Gaizo, whose tally was his second of the night.

Anthony Del Gaizo completed a three-goal hat trick to give the Lumberjacks a 5-2 lead at the 12:08 mark of the third period.

Keith Petruzzelli picked up the win in net for Muskegon, stopping 36 of 38 shots.

The Steel outshot the Lumberjacks by a 38-32 margin.

 

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