Moving on: Jacks beat Team USA 5-2, sweep first-round series
April 16, 2011
Joel Vienneau was the man of the hour once again as the Jacks swept their first-round Clark Cup Playoff series against Team USA with a 5-2 victory Saturday.
Muskegon, Mich. – It took Team USA 59 shots and more than 106 minutes to figure out Muskegon Lumberjacks goaltender Joel Vienneau. Despite them finally solving the netminder, he delivered another victory as the Jacks finished off a first-round Clark Cup Playoffs series sweep with a 5-2 victory at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube on Saturday.
Vienneau, a Hearst, Ontario, native, stopped the first 24 shots he faced Saturday night, including all 17 attempts on target he saw in the second period. Matt Berry scored two goals, and Matt DeBlouw posted a three-point game as the Jacks advanced to face Cedar Rapids in the second round of the Clark Cup Playoffs. The Jacks went 2-1-1 against the Eastern Conference top seed in Muskegon’s inaugural United States Hockey League campaign.
The Jacks struck twice in less than a minute in the opening period, first when their captain John Parker moved the puck early on a two-on-one transition for Charlie Taft. The right winger, finding himself in space, took a moment before ripping a wrister into the near-side corner to beat Jared Rutledge. Just 46 seconds later, DeBlouw forced a turnover on the forecheck and beat Rutledge by elevating a back-handed shot over his right shoulder to give the Jacks a 2-0 lead. DeBlouw is a Chesterfield, Mich., native, who is committed to Michigan State University, and matched his regular-season total with his second marker. He had the game-winner early in the third period of Game 1 on Friday night.
Vienneau turned aside seven shots during back-to-back 5-on-3 power plays for Team USA in the middle of the second period. Mere seconds after the second kill, Berry redirected a Ryan Misiak shot through traffic past Rutledge to build a three-goal lead. Jaycob Megna made it a four-goal bulge with a power play goal when he wove a shot from the point through traffic to beat Rutledge with just two-tenths of a second left in the second period.
Berry, a Canton, Mich., native, who led the Jacks with 25 goals in the regular season, muscled another puck past replacement goaltender Collin Olson for his second goal of the game, which gave the Jacks a 5-0 lead with 4:26 elapsed in the third. About two minutes later, a puck banged off multiple bodies before slithering past Vienneau for Team USA’s first goal of the series. Vienneau stopped all 34 shots he faced in the 2-0 Game 1 win Friday. Frankie Vatrano was able to pick up the puck in the slot and beat Vienneau about a minute later, but that’s all the Jacks’ netminder would yield.
DeBlouw finished with a goal and two assists, and Misiak tallied two assists after the Shelby Township, Mich., native led the Jacks with 43 apples in the regular season. He’s got three thus far in the postseason. DeBlouw, Berry and Misiak all led the Jacks with +3 plus/minus ratings. The Jacks went 1-for-4 on the power play and killed all five odd-man advantages for Team USA.