The Muskegon Lumberjacks’ offense put on another show, scoring seven times en route to a 7-4 win over Team USA U17 on opening night at LC Walker Arena.
After scoring eight goals last night, Muskegon again put on an offensive show, sweeping Team USA in this weekend’s home-and-home series.
Leading the charge, the Lumberjacks got three-point performances from Danil Gushchin, Alex Gaffney, Alex Konovalov and Oliver MacDonald. Gushchin scored two goals and added an assist, all in the third period. His game-winner with 13:13 remaining was a brilliant shot from the top of the right circle that beat USA netminder Gibson Homer over the glove.
Tanner Edwards kicked off the scoring just 1:24 into the game, and it looked like Muskegon might win in a rout for the second-straight night.
However, unlike Friday, an 8-1 win for the Jacks, Team USA had an answer on Saturday. Luke Hughes potted his second goal of the year to tie the game at one after one period.
In the second, the teams exchanged goals in a fast-paced 20 minutes. Gaffney restored the lead for Muskegon at the 12:15 mark, but Hughes tallied his second of the game just 1:11 later.
Muskegon took control with two unanswered goals just 2:05 apart- first Konovalov forced a turnover and played tic-tac-toe with Gaffney before burying his second of the season. Then, at the 5:57 mark, Jack Williams scored his first of the year to bring the score to 4-2.
Team USA would cut the lead down to one when Jack Devine scored his first-career USHL goal, but Muskegon took momentum into the locker room after a crucial penalty kill to close out the period.
In the third, Gushchin’s snipe put the Jacks up 5-3 before Justin Janicke again narrowed the Jacks’ lead to one goal with 3:26 left. However, Gushchin’s second of the game put a nail in Team USA’s coffin, making the score 6-4 with 2:30 to play.
Oliver MacDonald scored his USHL-leading seventh goal of the year into the empty net with 37 seconds remaining to put the game on ice.
Muskegon hits the road Friday to face the Chicago Steel, but returns home on Saturday, October 19, to host the Green Bay Gamblers and former Lumberjack Benito Posa.
Muskegon goals: Edwards (2), Gaffney (2), Konovalov (2), Williams (1), Gushchin (1,2), MacDonald (7)