@ SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE
SIOUX FALLS ARENA, SIOUX FALLS, s.d.
saturday, OCTOBER 15, 2011 – 8:05 p.m. ET
Following a sour loss in Fargo Friday night, the Muskegon Lumberjacks seek to earn their first win of the season Saturday in their one and only meeting with the Sioux Falls Stampede. This is the last of four consecutive road games for the Jacks, which is the second-longest such stretch of the season.
Despite scoring first, the Lumberjacks (0-3-0, 0 points/8th in East) fell behind before the end of the first period Friday in Fargo, eventually dropping a 7-1 decision at Scheels Arena. Matt DeBlouw’s first goal of the season provided a highlight; the man from Chesterfield, Mich., netted five last year after battling back from a ruptured spleen.
The Stampede (1-2-0, 2 points/7th in West) carried a 2-1 lead into the third period Friday against visiting Green Bay, but were outscored 4-0 in the final frame to suffer their first home loss. Only F Mikko Virtanen has multiple points (two assists) for Sioux Falls, which has scored only four goals in three games.
- After DeBlouw struck early at Fargo, the Jacks have spread their six goals out among six different players. Only F Travis Belohrad and D Ryan Bullock have registered at least one goal and one assist thus far.
- Although Muskegon has been outscored 18-6 on the young season, two players who have skated in all three games still boast a plus rating. F Jordan Masters and D Carter Foguth, both returners, are plus-1 despite having just one point between them.
- If this slow start seems familiar to Lumberjacks fans, it’s because last season’s squad also dropped its first three tilts. Muskegon broke through for its first USHL victory in game No. 4 one year ago today, 6-0 at Sioux City.
- Muskegon earned points in both meetings with Sioux Falls last year, going 1-0-1 with a 4-3 road victory Dec. 31. Belohrad delivered a goal, an assist and the shootout decider at Sioux Falls Arena.
- Sioux Falls, led by seventh-year coach and 400-game winner Kevin Hartzell, posted the second-most wins in the West last year with 34. The Stampede have made the Clark Cup Playoffs seven straight years, but only five players return from last year’s club.
- After getting shut out at Lincoln Sept. 30, the Stampede found the net enough to squeeze past Waterloo in a shootout in their home opener last Saturday. Two former U.S. National Team defensemen led the way offensively, with Matt Van Voorhis tying the game in the third and Dan Carlson scoring the shootout winner.
- G Stephon Williams had been superb to begin his sophomore USHL season. Through two starts, he sported a .952 save percentage and a 1.94 goals-against average. Green Bay knocked him down a few pegs Friday, scoring five goals on merely 26 shots.
- Sioux Falls opposed Muskegon in the Jacks’ second-ever USHL game last Oct. 8. Williams earned the 5-4 shootout win at L.C. Walker Arena; D Joseph Lordo (goal) is the only other current member of the Stampede to have contributed that night.