MUSKEGON — There is no doubt the Muskegon Risers have heart and a lot of talent.

The team played hard in its match against the visiting Iowa Raptors at Trinity Health Arena on Saturday night. But, sadly, the Risers’ inspired play wasn’t enough as they fell, 9-8.

Muskegon showed the kind of resilience it takes to win, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit that started in the first quarter. The team took its only lead of the game early in the second half.

The Risers were also led by a gutsy performance in net by goalie Luca Lobo who made key saves to keep his team in the hunt for the win.

But for each step in momentum Muskegon gained, Iowa was able to respond.

Taylor Pill netted Muskegon’s first tally, pulling his team to within a goal, 2-1. After falling behind 3-1 at the end of the first quarter, Brandon Edwards responded with a goal to start the second quarter.

Iowa responded with its fourth goal of the night, taking a 4-2 lead with 12 minutes left in the second quarter.

Muskegon then went on a run, netting three straight goals for its first lead of the night.

The momentum started with a Miguel Flores power-play goal. Fikret Hasovic followed up with his first goal as a Riser, giving his team a 4-4 tie before half.

Lobo gave the Risers even more to talk about at half time after he came up with a giant breakaway save just before the end of the first half. 

The Risers jumped out of the gate in the second half with Flores’ second goal of the night, for a 5-4 lead.

Iowa once again had a response for the Risers, netting back-to-back goals for a 6-5 lead with five minutes left to play.

Muskegon traded blows with Iowa the rest of the way but could not get over the hump.

The Risers were led by Flores and Hasovic who had two goals each. Aldony Mendez and Edwards each finished with a goal and an assist.

Iowa’s big offensive night was paced by Angelo Oquendo with four goals. Jonah Dancer and Will Davis had two goals apiece while Ronaldo Rojas netted a goal.

Lobo finished with eight saves on the night as Muskegon held a 22-17 edge in shots.

Muskegon is now 1-7 overall and sits in last place of the MASL2’s North Division. The Risers next play at home on February 11 when they will host the Iowa Demon Hawks.

Photos courtesy of Jason Goorman