Jacks stomp Phantoms for 3rd straight win
November 4, 2011
DeBlouw extends scoring streak to 4 games and Berrafato shuts down strong Youngstown offense
by Matt Gajtka
MUSKEGON, Mich. – The Muskegon Lumberjacks began November the same way they ended October – with a resounding home victory.
Matt DeBlouw extended his scoring streak to four games with a two-point night and Paul Berrafato earned his fourth win in net as the Lumberjacks downed the Youngstown Phantoms 4-1 Friday night at L.C. Walker Arena.
Muskegon (4-5-0, 8 points) has now won three in a row, all at home and all against winning teams. The Jacks also snapped Youngstown’s two-game winning streak, taking the first of eight meetings between the two Eastern Conference foes.
For the third time this season, the Jacks chased a starting goaltender. This time Sean Romeo was the victim, as Jordan Masters, Travis Belohrad and DeBlouw all scored in the opening 10:22 to open up a 3-0 Muskegon lead.
Ryan Bullock netted the only goal of the second on a power play blast from the blue line, raising the Jacks’ advantage to four. Alex Gacek scored with 7:36 remaining for Youngstown (6-3-0, 12 points), foiling Berrafato’s shutout.
The Lumberjacks did put up another zero with their penalty killers, exterminating all nine Youngstown power plays. Muskegon has now killed off 19 penalties in a row and all 21 in its first four home games.
Masters netted his second goal in a week when he deposited the juicy rebound of Nick Seeler’s shot past Romeo during the Jacks’ first of seven power plays. Belohrad connected on a similar play five minutes later, converting the residue of Max Shuart’s wrister lying free at the side of the net.
Fifteen seconds later, DeBlouw stole an attempted Phantoms clearing pass and waltzed into the slot. With time, he picked his spot over Romeo’s glove and sent the Youngstown netminder to the bench in favor of Matt O’Connor.
O’Connor fared better than his predecessor, but Bullock wired a slapper off the right post and in for his second of the season midway through the game. The rookie defenseman now has seven points, one behind team co-leaders DeBlouw and Dakota Klecha.
Gacek snapped a rising shot to give the Phantoms something to show for the night, but Berrafato was otherwise stellar, shutting down the explosive Youngstown offense with a 21-save performance.
Muskegon hosts Cedar Rapids Saturday at 7:15 p.m. on Youth Hockey Night, with kids 12 and under getting free admission if wearing their youth team jerseys. The Meijer Pregame Show engages 30 minutes prior to every game on the radio home of your Lumberjacks, 92.5 FM The Outlaw.
Call 231.724.JACK(5225), visit startickets.com or go to your local Meijer for Lumberjacks tickets and information.
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.