If making the 2023 Clark Cup Playoffs is still a goal for the Muskegon Lumberjacks, the team desperately needs to find the back of the net and creative ways to win.
The Jacks instead found a creative way to lose on Saturday as they let in four third-period goals in a 5-1 loss to visiting Team USA U17 at Trinity Health Arena.
Muskegon hung with the U17 squad through the first two periods but had no answers in the third period.
Trailing 1-0 from a Brendan McMorrow goal in the first period, Muskegon looked to be in the game at the start of the third.
But Team USA’s Charlie Cerrato scored the first of his two goals of the final period, giving his team a 2-0 lead over Muskegon with 15 minutes still to play.
Austin Burnevik followed up less than two minutes later and Team USA had a 3-0 lead.
Cerrato added an empty net goal with six minutes left to put the visitors up 4-0.
Muskegon’s Easton Young was finally able to get the skunk out of the boat with a goal off a Luke Buss assist.
Team USA tacked on another empty net goal with a minute left to cap off scoring for the night.
The Lumberjacks now have 18 games remaining in the regular season and still have a chance to get into the playoffs.
Next week’s road trip to Cedar Rapids will no doubt be an indicator if the team has any gas left in their tank.
Muskegon is currently in seventh place with 42 points on a 20-22-2 overall record. The Lumberjacks are five points behind sixth-place Cedar Rapids.
Check out photos from the night shot by Sondra Workman.