Lumberjacks Log: Week 4
October 27, 2011
Muskegon will enjoy 9 of its next 13 at L.C. Walker Arena, starting with games this weekend vs. Chicago and Waterloo!
by Matt Gajtka
MUSKEGON, Mich. – After being on the schedule-maker’s bad side for the season’s first three weeks, the Muskegon Lumberjacks will reap the rewards of that taxing time with nine of their next 13 games at home.
That favorable stretch begins this weekend with a pair of matches at L.C. Walker Arena against the Chicago Steel and Waterloo Black Hawks on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
The 30-game home schedule started last Saturday with a 4-0 loss to defending Clark Cup champion Dubuque. The Lumberjacks (1-5-0, 2 points) controlled the contest for the opening 20 minutes but couldn’t carry the strong play through the final two periods.
“We did a great job staying out of the middle and dictating play to start,” said Jacks Head Coach Kevin Patrick. “For some reason our mentality changed after that, and that’s something we’ve addressed with our team leadership.”
The prospects looked promising for Muskegon to split the weekend when they led 2-0 in the first and 4-3 after two periods Sunday afternoon in Chicago. However, the Steel (3-4-0, 6 points) roared back with four in the third to earn their second win in as many games against the Jacks.
“At key times we’re having breakdowns and that’s affecting our ability to close games and have success,” Patrick said. “We have to stick with our systems and continue, trust each other and find the combinations that work, both offensively and defensively.”
The challenge facing the Lumberjacks Saturday in their third of eight meetings with Chicago will be containment. The Steel have scored 13 goals (one empty netter) thus far in the season series.
“Mistakes up ice are leading to too much open space in our end,” Patrick said. “We’re breaking down at times and that’s allowing [opponents] to gain too much speed and attack our zone.”
The Western Conference-leading Black Hawks (4-2-1, 9 points) make their first trip to Muskegon Sunday evening to finish the weekend. Waterloo was in the Eastern Conference last year; the Hawks and Jacks split their four games in 2010-11.
The puck drops between the Jacks and Chicago at L.C. Walker Arena Saturday at 7:15 p.m., with doors opening at 6:15. Call 231.724.JACK(5225) to purchase your tickets, or visit startickets.com or any local Meijer location.
Muskegon hosts Waterloo Sunday with the special starting time of 5:15 p.m. The Meijer Pregame Show engages 30 minutes prior to every game on your exclusive radio home for the Lumberjacks, 92.5 FM The Outlaw.
STEEL CAGE MATCH
BLACK HAWKS DOWN
UPCOMING JACKS ACTION (HOME GAMES BOLDED)
Saturday, October 29 vs. CHICAGO at 7:15 p.m. / Jacks Halloween Party
Sunday, October 30 vs. WATERLOO at 5:15 p.m. / Jacks Halloween Party
(Kids 12 and under wearing costumes get in free all weekend!)
Friday, November 4 vs. YOUNGSTOWN at 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 vs. CEDAR RAPIDS at 7:15 p.m.
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 as Voice of the Jacks Matt Gajtka has the play-by-play. 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 the corner of Jefferson and Clay Streets in the heart of Muskegon, Hennessy’s plays host as Gajtka talks hockey with head coach Kevin Patrick, various players and other featured guests on 98.3 FM WLCS!
THE SOCIAL NETWORKS
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.