MUSKEGON, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks got three goals from forward Wyatt Bongiovanni and a 21-save shutout from Adam Brizgala in a 3-0 win over the Central Illinois Flying Aces Wednesday.
In the Lumberjacks’ annual education day game that began at 10:30am, LC Walker Arena hosted 3,098 fans- the best crowd of the season. The Jacks took the early lead 3:00 into the game when Bongiovanni slammed home a one-time snap shop under the pads of goalie Kris Carlson. Emilio Pettersen notched the primary assist on the goal, and assisted on all three Muskegon goals.
After the rest of the first and the entire second went scoreless, Bongiovanni and the power play caught fire in the third. At the 8:35 mark, Blake Evennou found Bongiovanni open on the back door, and the one-time shot again beat Carlson through the five-hole. The power-play goal marked the third-straight game that the Jacks have scored a 5-on-4 goal.
Just more than two minutes later, on another power play, Pettersen again found Bongiovanni open on the back door, and with a yawning net, Bongiovanni buried his third of the night to make the score 3-0.
The power play finished 2/9, while the penalty kill was 4/4.
Brizgala made 21 saves on the night, earning his third USHL shutout, but the best save may have belonged to defenseman Collin Murphy, who had to cover for Brizgala on a chance in the second period. Brizgala came out to the top of the circle to play the puck, and when he retreated to the net, was tripped up by a Flying Ace. Central Illinois picked up the loose puck, and Davis Bunz walked in down the slot with Brizgala still out of position. The wrist shot was stopped by Murphy to keep the Lumberjacks on top 1-0 at the time.
Muskegon outshot Central Illinois 35-21, the fifth consecutive game in which the Lumberjacks have had more shots than their opponent.
Muskegon’s season-long six-game homestand concludes this weekend, with the Youngstown Phantoms in town on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday is military appreciation night, with special jerseys to be auctioned off postgame. On Sunday, the first 500 kids through the door 13 or younger will get a free concession voucher good for a hotdog and a soft drink. Puck drop is slated for 3:15pm on Sunday.
Muskegon goals: Bongiovanni (2,3,4)
Muskegon assists: Pettersen (3,4,5), Marc Del Gaizo (4), Evennou (3)