Lumberjacks wrap up regular season with a win, finish tied for second in conference

LocalSportJournal.com

The Muskegon Lumberjacks did their part to gain home ice advantage in the first round of the USHL Clark Cup playoffs, but it wasn’t quite enough.

The Lumberjacks closed out their regular season with a 5-2 victory over the Bloomington Thunder on Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Illinois.

But the Dubuque Fighting Saints also won their final game, 3-2 over Cedar Rapids, to gain the home-ice advantage over Muskegon.

The Lumberjacks and Fighting Saints, who finished tied for second place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference, will meet in a best 3 of 5 playoff series beginning next weekend in Dubuque.

The Fighting Saints will host the first two games, and a fifth game if necessary, because they won the tie-breaker by having more regulation and overtime wins than the Lumberjacks.

Muskegon ended the regular season with a franchise best 37-18-5 record, which was good for 79 points in the standings. The Jacks and Dubuque finished just two points behind first-place Chicago.

Muskegon took a 1-0 lead after one period on Saturday on a goal from Ty Farmer at the 12:18 mark of the first period.

The Lumberjacks increased their advantage to 3-0 with goals by Matt Steeves (4:44) and Koby Bender (16:47) in the second period.

Casey Gilling bumped Muskegon’s lead to 4-0 at the 1:14 mark of the third period, then Collin Adams connected about five minutes later to give the Lumberjacks 5-0 advantage.

The Thunder broke the shutout bid 11:47 into the third period on a goal by Walker Duehr, then closed the scoring with a goal from Calen Kiefiuk at the 14:55 mark.

The Thunder outshot Muskegon by a 42-21 margin.

Adam Brizgala picked up the win in goal for the Lumberjacks, stopping 40 of 42 Bloomington shots.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *