Lumberjacks beat Team USA on the road, clinch third place in the Eastern Conference

The Muskegon Lumberjacks clinched third place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference with an exciting 5-4 victory over first-place Team USA on Plymouth, Michigan on Friday.

Forward Wyatt Bongiovanni, back in the lineup after missing several weeks with an injury, led the way with two goals.

The victory, along with fourth-place Green Bay’s loss to Dubuque, means the Jacks will finish third in the conference and will play the sixth-place team – either Chicago or Cedar Rapids – in the first round of the Clark Cup playoffs.

The series will begin Monday night at L.C. Walker Arena at 7:15 p.m. The second game will also be in Muskegon on Tuesday, as well as Game 3 on Wednesday, if necessary.

The Jacks will finish the regular season with a road game in Youngstown on Saturday night.

The Jacks jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on Friday with goals from Will Schlagenhauf and Bongiovanni.

Team USA made it 2-1 with a goal early in the second period, but the Jacks answered right away with a goal by Egor Afanasyev to make it 3-1 at the 2:30 mark.

Team USA got a goal at 15:57 of the second period, but Nolan Sullivan scored for Muskegon with less than a minute left, and the Jacks led 4-2 at the second break.

Team USA scored at 1:45 of the third period to make it 4-3, then the Lumberjacks went up by two goals again on a goal by Bongiovanni at the 4:13 mark.

Team USA added a goal at 9:58, but couldn’t get the equalizer down the stretch.

Keegan Karki got the victory in goal for Muskegon, which outshot Team USA 30-27.




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