Lumberjacks Log: Week 2
October 12, 2011
Muskegon learns from last week and prepares for a long trip to face Fargo and Sioux Falls
by Matt Gajtka
MUSKEGON, Mich. – The Muskegon Lumberjacks hit the interstate for their longest trip of the season this weekend, as the second-year USHL club is set to square off with a pair of West Division opponents in Fargo and Sioux Falls.
After an unsatisfying journey to Cedar Rapids and Chicago to start the regular season, the Lumberjacks (0-2-0, 0 points) went to work this week with improvement in mind. Despite the final score from opening night last Friday, Head Coach Kevin Patrick felt his team wasn’t adversely affected by nerves or rust against the RoughRiders.
“Right from the start, I thought we carried the play,” Patrick said. “We had possession of the puck, but couldn’t convert. I thought we did a lot of good things, but at the end of the night our [attention to] detail wasn’t enough to get the job done.”
After allowing an early goal to Chicago Saturday, Muskegon rebounded nicely for approximately 20 minutes of game action, drawing even before the end of the first period and pulling ahead 2-1 shortly into the second.
However, the Jacks allowed five of the game’s last six goals to carry a bitter aftertaste into this weekend’s excursion to the Dakotas, where they will face the Fargo Force (2-1-0, 4 points) and Sioux Falls Stampede (1-1-0, 2 points).
“We continue to work on our systems and the details,” Patrick said following practice Wednesday afternoon. “In order to be able to play fast and physical our players need to have a strong command of the details.”
The nearly 1700-mile round trip is one of only three the Jacks will embark upon in the West. The next time they play an opponent from the opposite division on the road will be March 2-3, when Des Moines and Sioux City are on the schedule.
Upon returning to West Michigan Sunday, the Lumberjacks will play five of their next six and 12 of 18 within the familiar confines of L.C. Walker Arena. While that prospect is promising, another weekend away from home can provide intangible benefits that a homestand might not.
“It’s a further opportunity for the players to bond,” said Patrick. “Early in the season, it’s good to get on the bus and spend that time. It helps the guys bond as a team and build team chemistry.”
The puck drops between the Jacks and Fargo at Scheels Arena Friday at 8:35 p.m. ET, with the Meijer Pregame Show engaging at 8:05 on your exclusive radio home for the Lumberjacks, 92.5 FM The Outlaw. Saturday’s broadcast starts at 7:35, with game time in Sioux Falls, S.D., set for 8:05.
DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE
UPCOMING JACKS ACTION (HOME GAMES BOLDED)
Friday, October 14 @ Fargo at 8:35 p.m. (all times Eastern)
Saturday, October 15 @ Sioux Falls at 8:05 p.m.
Saturday, October 22 vs. DUBUQUE at 7:15 p.m. / Home Opener
Sunday, October 23 @ Chicago at 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 29 vs. CHICAGO at 7:15 p.m. / Jacks Halloween Party – Kids get in free if wearing costume!
FOLLOW THE JACKS ALL SEASON
92.5 FM The Outlaw is the exclusive radio home of your Muskegon Lumberjacks! Listen over the air or check out the action streaming online at 925fmtheoutlaw.com for all 60 games this season, plus the Clark Cup Playoffs. The USHL is also partnering with FASTHockey to provide video coverage of all league games this season; go to ushl.fasthockey.com to sign up and watch!
TALKIN’ LUMBERJACKS HOCKEY
JackSixty presented by Cinema Carousel is a weekly hour-long talk show devoted to your Muskegon Lumberjacks every Tuesday night from 6-7 p.m. at Hennessy’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. Located at 885 Jefferson St. in the heart of Muskegon, Hennessy’s will play gracious host as Voice of the Lumberjacks Matt Gajtka talks hockey with head coach Kevin Patrick, various players and other featured guests on 98.3 FM WLCS!
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Never go hungry for Jacks news: “Like” the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Facebook and follow “@MuskegonJacks” on Twitter to stay plugged into the Jacks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, find the Jacks’ exclusive YouTube channel at youtube.com/MuskegonJacks!
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud members of the United States Hockey League, the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and the leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The Lumberjacks’ organization prides itself on developing not just premier hockey talent, but also exceptional young men outside the arena of sports. For more information, visit muskegonlumberjacks.com.