Lumberjacks start USHL season with explosive first-period comeback at USHL Fall Classic
Sep 23, 2022
The Muskegon Lumberjacks opened their 2022-23 USHL hockey season with their backs against the wall in Pittsburgh for the USHL Fall Classic.
But with the first game under its belt, Muskegon is now 1-0.
The Lumberjacks took down a hot Sioux Falls squad, 7-4 after trailing 2-0 to start the first 11 minutes of the season.
Cody Croal netted Muskegon’s opening goal of the comeback on a David Hymovitch assist.
Forty-seven seconds later, Owen Mehlenbacher gave Muskegon a 2-2 tie as Croal and Tyler Dunbar came through with helpers on the play.
The back-to-back goals sparked a Lumberjack outburst that ended with Muskegon leading the Stampede, 5-2 to end the first period.
Hymovitch earned credit for the winning goal, finding the back of the net with six seconds left in the period. Nathan McBrayer was credited with the assist.
Ethan Witcomb and Jake Richard came through with goals that gave Muskegon 3-2 and 4-2 leads, respectively.
The Lumberjacks let in Sioux Falls to start both the second and third periods. But George Fegars responded for Muskegon with a goal in the second and Sacha Boisvert followed in the third to close the door.
McBrayer finished with a pair of assists and was one of four Lumberjacks with multi-point games. Hymovitch, Croal, and Richard each had a goal and assist in the win.
Noah Rupprecht posted the win in net for the Lumberjacks, stopping 22 of 26 shots.
Muskegon was outshot by the Stampede 26-23 but followed through on 2 of 5 power-play chances. Richard and Fegaras both scored on the man-advantage opportunities.
The Lumberjacks committed just three penalties and let in one Sioux Falls power-play goal that came two minutes into the second period.
Sioux Falls was led by Maxim Strbak, Maddox Fleming and Will McDonough who each had a goal and assist. Samuel Harris also scored for the Stampede while Michael La Starza and Kazimier Sobieski each had assists.
Muskegon plays its second game of the 62-game season on Friday in Day 2 of the USHL Fall Classic against Tri-City for a 5:30 p.m. puck drop.