Dunbar, Gushchin each tally hat tricks as Lumberjacks keep scoring and finally beat Chicago 10-8

LocalSportsJournal.com

Tyler Dunbar and Danil Gushchin each tallied three-goal hat tricks to lead the Muskegon Lumberjacks to a wild 10-8 victory on the road over the Chicago Steel on Saturday night.

The Lumberjacks were not originally scheduled to play on Saturday, but their Sunday game against Team USA was cancelled due to COVID-19, so the league quickly arranged a game between Muskegon and Chicago.

Muskegon broke an 8-8 tie late in the contest, then added an empty net goal to win.

The Lumberjacks improved to 2-1 on the young season, good for four points in the standings. Muskegon is scheduled to finish its long season-opening road swing next weekend with a pair of games in Dubuque, before playing their first two home games on Thanksgiving weekend.

Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Jack Babbage (4:54) and Sean Farrell (7:04).

The Lumberjacks responded with a goal by John Farinacci at the 8:52 mark of the opening period.

The Steel regained a two-goal advantage at 3-1 with a goal from Matthew Coronato, before Muskegon’s Gushchin notched a pair of goals 47 seconds apart late in the first period to force a 3-3 tie.

The Jacks took their first lead of the night 5:29 into the second period with a goal from David Hymovitch, but Chicago tied the game 4-4 minutes late on Farrell’s second tally of the game.

Muskegon responded with two unanswered goals, from  Cameron Berg and Hank Kempf, respectively, to give the Lumberjacks a 6-4 advantage 7:56 into the second period.

The Steel responded with two goals of their own from Coronato (8:17) and Ryan Ufko (9:46) to tie the game 6-6 at the halfway point of the contest.

The Lumberjacks closed out the second period scoring with 17 seconds remaining with a tally from Dunbar, and led  7-6 lead heading into the second intermission.

Chicago tied the game 7-7 at the 5:34 mark of the third period with a goal by Erik Middendorf, but Dunbar responded with another goal, giving Muskegon an 8-7 lead with just over 12 minutes left in the game.

Jackson Blake tied the game 8-8 for Chicago before Dunbar and Gushchin each completed hat tricks for the Lumberjacks to seal the victory.

Muskegon outshot the Steel by a 42-27 margin, which was important because Lumberjack goaltenders Christian Stoever and Jan Skorpik each struggled in net.

The Lumberjacks were 2-for-5 on the power play, while Chicago scored on five of its six man advantages.

 

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