Lumberjacks Log: Week 21
February 22, 2012
Season's final third begins with pair at home this weekend against Indiana. Friday is $1 Beer/Hot Dog Night and bloodshed is guaranteed Saturday...click to find out why!
by Matt Gajtka
MUSKEGON, Mich. – This is the final season that United States Hockey League teams will play an even 60 games, as the league recently announced that the regular schedule will be increased to 64 matches next fall.
Consequently, this is the last year the USHL season can be easily broken down into segments without using long division or a calculator. So with 40 games in the books and 20 remaining for the Muskegon Lumberjacks (12-23-5, 29 points), it’s only natural to draw a line between the past and the future.
The 20-game sprint to the finish line will feature nine home games, starting with a two-tilt showdown with Eastern Conference rival Indiana (26-11-5, 57 points) this Friday and Saturday at L.C. Walker Arena. The Jacks have fared well against the Ice this season, posting a 2-1-2 record against the second-best club in the 16-team league.
Friday is Dollar Beer/Hot Dog Night presented by John Morrell, with the offer standing from 6-8 p.m. The Lumberjacks have gone 4-3-0 in Friday night home games this season; opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
There will be guaranteed bloodshed Saturday, but not how one might think. The American Red Cross is teaming with the Jacks to present Give Blood, Play Hockey Night, featuring a blood drive at L.C. Walker Arena from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. prior to Muskegon’s rematch with Indiana at 7:15.
“Giving blood is a simple yet vitally important way our fans can help us give back to the community,” said Lumberjacks Community Relations Director Sarah Lambert. “The Jacks have been known to shed some blood on the ice, but this way we can help save lives instead.”
Contact the Lumberjacks front office at 724-JACK to sign up to help people in need. Every donation saves three lives and positively affects countless others. In addition, each person who gives blood will receive a $10 gift card to Hennessy’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, located in downtown Muskegon.
Following Saturday’s home game, the Lumberjacks travel to Green Bay, Wisc., to face the first-place Gamblers (33-7-2, 68 points) Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Eastern. Muskegon has yet to beat the Anderson Cup frontrunners but there are still five games remaining in the season series.
The Meijer Pregame Show begins 30 minutes prior to every opening faceoff on the radio home of your Lumberjacks, 92.5 The Outlaw (925fmtheoutlaw.com). Voice of the Jacks Matt Gajtka has the play-by-play, with Muskegon hockey patriarch Ron Stephenson providing color analysis.
UPCOMING GAMES (Home games in bold; all times Eastern)
ALUMNI ON THE ATTACK
· Niagara (14-10-8, 13-6-6 Atlantic Hockey) swept a midweek home-and-home series with western New York rival Canisius, helped by two points each from Chris Lochner and Isaac Kohls. Kohls has 17 points (6g, 11a), best among freshman on the Purple Eagles, while Lochner’s 10 goals put him in a tie for second on the team. Niagara is tied for third in Atlantic Hockey with Mercyhurst, which features last year’s leading Lumberjacks scorer Ryan Misiak.
· Brendan Woods helped Wisconsin (13-15-2, 8-14-2 WCHA) bounce back from a shutout loss to Denver Friday with a 5-2 victory over the No. 10 Pioneers Saturday. The freshman from Fairfax, Va., popped in his fifth goal of the season, giving him 10 points on the year as the Badgers finished their home schedule.
· John Parker, Muskegon’s first captain in the USHL, earned an assist over the weekend as Maine (18-10-3, 13-9-2 Hockey East) split a two-game set with UMass at home. The New Jersey product has six points in 24 games with the Black Bears after 31 points for the Lumberjacks in 2010-11.
JackSixty presented by Cinema Carousel is a weekly hour-long talk show devoted to your Muskegon Lumberjacks Tuesday nights 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 and co-host Antonio Bartoli talk hockey with Lumberjacks coaches, 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.