The Muskegon Lumberjacks played come-from-behind hockey all weekend, and could have easily lost all three games.
But instead all of their hard work paid off with two wins in three days following their exciting 5-4 victory over the first-place Team USA Under-17 squad on Sunday in Plymouth, Michigan.
The victory avenged the Jacks’ ugly 10-1 home loss to the Under-17 squad in January.
The Lumberjacks are now 24-20-1 and in fourth place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.
Unlike Friday and Saturday, when they fell behind early in both games, the Jacks drew first blood on Sunday with first period goals from Mikael Hakkarainen and Wyatt Bongiovanni.
Team USA responded with two goals of their own in the first period, from Matthew Boldy and Trevor Zegras, to tie the score 2-2 at the first intermission.
The home team pulled ahead 3-2 with a shorthanded goal by Patrick Moynihan just 1:09 into the second period.
But then the Lumberjacks plowed ahead for good with three straight goals.
It started when Anthony Del Gaizo scored his league-leading 33rd goal on a penalty shot at 8:39 of the second period. Colby Bukes followed with a Muskegon power play goal at 15:31, and Monte Graham added another tally less than a minute later, putting the Jacks up 5-3.
Team USA poured on the offense in the third period, outshooting the Lumberjacks 17-4, but only got one goal from Michael Gildon at the 8:29 mark. The Jacks held on the rest of the way to secure the impressive win.
The Jacks got the victory despite being outshot 36-31. Muskegon goalie Keegan Karki got the win while Alexander Yakovenko collected a pair of assists.
The Lumberjacks will return to action next weekend with a pair of road games against Central Illinois.