Gushchin scores four, including three late goals, as Jacks steal OT win from Waterloo

By Dave Tomczak
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON – After putting together a six-game winning streak, the Muskegon Lumberjacks looked like they may be cooling off a bit on Saturday night.

Danil Gushchin moves the puck into the Waterloo zone. Photo/Jason Goorman

But an amazing late scoring spree, courtesy of forward Danil Gushchin, along with fantastic goaltending, gave the red-hot Lumberjacks a jaw-dropping 4-3 overtime win over Waterloo at L.C. Walker Arena on Friday.

Gushchin scored all four goals for Muskegon, which now has a seven-game win streak and a 7-4 record, good for 14 points and third place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference. The Jacks will host Youngstown on Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

Trailing 3-1 with less than two minutes left in the third period, the Jack’s pulled goalie Noah Giesbrecht for an extra offensive attacker.

It didn’t take long for the move to pay off. Gushchin redirected a centering pass from Oliver MacDonald to cut the lead to 3-2 with 1:24 left in the third.

With time running out, Muskegon’s Luke Mobley dug the puck out of the corner and found Gushchin in front of the net, and he deposited the tying goal with 4.4 seconds left in the game.

“In the third period we did a real good job of getting the puck behind the defense and battling for it,” said Lumberjacks coach Mike Hamilton. “So we had to play a little different style game and we proved we could do it.”

Gushchin had a breakaway 26 seconds in the overtime period, but failed to cash in.

Oliver MacDonald moves the puck out of the Muskegon zone. Photo/Jason Goorman

A minute later, he got another chance, and this time he delivered, recording his fourth goal of the game to ice the victory.

Gushchin gave the Jacks a 1-0 lead 5:28 into the game, taking a pass from MacDonald and burying it in the top shelf.

Waterloo’s Patrick Guzzo scored 16 seconds into the second period to tie the game at 1-1. The Black Hawks finished off the period on Ryder Rolston’s goal with 5.4 seconds left to take a 2-1 lead.

Guzzo had a breakaway chance 4:15 into the third period but was turned away by Muskegon goalie Noah Giesbrecht, for his second breakaway save of the night.

Connor Cappni found the net for the Black Hawks with 9:42 left in the game, seemingly putting the victory on ice.

Then Gushchin and the Jacks stormed back, and the winning streak continued.

“At the end of the day to win a game like that, there is a lot of luck involved,” Hamilton said. “But we’ll take it. Our goalie, Noah, kept us in it. He and Danil were special today and carried us.”

Waterloo finished with a 40-28 shot advantage, and Giesbrecht finished with 37 saves.

Nash Nienhuis, Dylan Gratton and David Gucciardi had assists for Muskegon.

 

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