There is just no doubt about it, the Muskegon Risers are snakebitten this season.
The team once again could not find a break in an 8-7 loss to visiting Iowa at Trinity Health Arena on Saturday.
Muskegon had its chances to win, but three-straight Demon Hawk goals in the second quarter and three-straight tallies to close out the game, was just too much to withstand for the Risers.
Entering Saturday’s game, Muskegon had lost three games by one goal and another by two goals. The Risers have been mere bounces away from victories in each of those losses and a much different record to show this season.
But Saturday’s date with Iowa was not meant to be.
Muskegon’s Brandon Dinsmore tallied the game’s first goal and put his team up 2-1 to close out the opening quarter.
Iowa responded with three unanswered goals in the second quarter, taking a 4-2 lead into halftime.
Taylor Pill put the Risers back into the hunt with a goal to start the third quarter. Back-to-back Cesar Alayo goals, put the Risers up 5-4.
After an Iowa goal midway through the third, Miguel Flores gave Muskegon a 6-5 lead.
Aldony Mendez closed out the third with a last-second goal to put Muskegon in control of the game for an exciting, 7-5 lead.
Iowa responded in the fourth quarter with a Diego Pantuza goal and two tallies by Thiago Freitas to keep Muskegon out of the win column.
The Risers’ struggles weren’t completely lacking an extra bounce. The team had a number of incidental high-contact plays that could have been called as easily against Iowa as they were against Muskegon.
When calls don’t go your way as time is winding down, there is even less a team can do.
The Risers were whistled for three penalties on the night. The last and deadliest call against the team came with just over two minutes left to play.
Being a man short, down a goal and unable to gain a man advantage by pulling the goalie, Muskegon’s comeback was impossible.
Muskegon had four players earn multi-point nights. Alayo finished with two goals and an assist, Mendez tallied a goal and two assists while Dinsmore finished with two goals and Steve Merker had two assists.
Jake Lofgren took the loss in goal for Muskegon (1-8).
Iowa was led by three players with two goals apiece, Thiago Freitas, Bruno Henrique Teixeira, and Guilherme Dos Santos.
Muskegon returns back to action on Friday, March 3, when it hosts the Iowa Raptors for the final home game of the indoor season.
Check out photos from the night shot by Jason Goorman.