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Lumberjacks drop preseason opener 4-1

By Jason Ruff 09/16/2017, 9:45pm EDT

MUSKEGON, MI - The lights came on and hockey returned to LC Walker Arena on Saturday night to mark the first preseason game for the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Unfortunately, the Jacks’ offense stayed dark as the Central Illinois Flying Aces defeated the Lumberjacks 4-1.

A large crowd was on hand to get their first look at the Jacks and the Flying Aces, who were the Bloomington Thunder last year.

Lucas McGregor opened the scoring at the 9:25 mark of the first period as he streaked down the left side and released a rocket of a shot that picked the top right corner of the net.

Despite some good chances, including one on the power play, Muskegon couldn't find the back of the net before the end of the first.  

After failing to convert on two power plays in the second period, Central Illinois made it 2-0 thanks to a Simon Butala goal less than five minutes into the frame off an odd-man rush. Odd-man rushes would become a theme of the night as the Flying Aces continued to generate prime scoring opportunities in the second.

With less than a minute left in the frame, the Aces found themselves on a two-on-none opportunity after an ill advised pinch at the blue line. Central Illinois forward Calen Kiefiuk made no mistake as he slipped an easy pass over to Maxim Andreev, who shot the puck into a wide-open net to make it 3-0 before the second intermission.

Though trailing 3-0, the Jacks came out in the third period and dominated the play, outshooting Central Illinois 10-5.

Even with Flying Aces forward Tyler Madden making it 4-0 Central Illinois, the Jacks still continued to be relentless with multiple scoring chances on both the power play and even strength.

Rookie defenseman Matt Staudacher gave Jacks fans something to cheer about with 55 seconds left in regulation. Staudacher received a quick pass between the top of the left circle and the blue line and sent a heavy slap-shot that whizzed passed Flying Aces goaltender Kris Carlson into the top shelf.

Despite the loss, there were plenty of good takeaways for the Lumberjacks. Their power play generated several prime scoring opportunities and the penalty kill was perfect throughout. In addition, the play of some young rookies, like Staudacher, was a welcome sight to see.

Muskegon will play Team USA U18 in exhibition play next Saturday night at 7:15 pm. Admission is only $5 and free for season ticket holders. Seats will be general admission and doors will open at 6:15 pm.
 

Muskegon Goal: Staudacher (1)

Muskegon Assist: Mark Cheremeta (1)

Lumberjacks unveil 2017-18 promotional schedule

By Scott Bradford 09/14/2017, 2:00pm EDT

MUSKEGON, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks have announced their 2017-18 promotional schedule. The 13-game slate is headlined by Military Night on November 11th, Muskegon Fury night on November 25th, Star Wars night on January 13th, and Jacks Fight Cancer night on March 31st.

The Jacks begin their promotional schedule with their home opener on October 13th, a night that features a magnetic schedule giveaway and a game against the defending champion Chicago Steel.

Here is the full promotional schedule. The Jacks’ complete schedule, home and away, can be seen here.
 

October 13th - (HOME OPENER) Magnetic schedules to the first 1,000 fans through the door

November 8th - The Jacks will again host their annual education day game. "Play hooky for hockey" offers local students the chance to see a Jacks game in an educational setting. Game time 10:30am.

November 11th - Military Night with jersey auction postgame.

November 12th - First 500 kids through the door get a voucher for free hotdog, popcorn and soft drink for Family Night.

November 25th - Muskegon Fury night. The Jacks will wear special throwback jerseys which will be auctioned off after the game. Keep an eye out for your favorite Fury legends that will be in attendance!

December 16th - Teddy Bear Toss/ Toys for Tots night. Bring a new stuffed animal to toss on the ice after the Jacks score their first goal! All toys donated to Toys for Tots.

January 13th - Meet your favorite characters during Star Wars Night!

January 27th - Guns 'n' Hoses night dedicated to our amazing local police officers and firefighters.

February 9th - Made in Michigan night will offer Jacks fans the opportunity to indulge in products from local vendors on the LC Walker Arena concourse.

February 23rd - Girl Scout night

February 24th - Boy Scout night

March 2nd - Dr. Seuss Night with specialty jersey auction

March 31st - Jacks Fight Cancer night with postgame jersey auction

Jacks to kick off season with free exhibition game

By Scott Bradford 09/13/2017, 9:00am EDT

MUSKEGON, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks will host their first contest of the 2017-18 season this Saturday, September 16, and the game will be free of charge. The Jacks will play the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces, formerly the Bloomington Thunder, at 7:15pm at LC Walker Arena.

It will be Jacks fans’ first opportunity to see the 2017-18 team that features ten returning players, as well as five more with USHL experience.

The offseason was highlighted by a series of high-profile trades pulled off by GM John Vanbiesbrouck, who was able to bring in Emilio Pettersen, Wyatt Bongiovanni, Michael Graham, Monte Graham and Jonathan Bendorf in a series of trades.

In total, the five acquired players have scored 132 points in 357 USHL games. Bongiovanni leads the pack with 44 points over two USHL seasons with Des Moines and Tri-City. The Birmingham, MI, native was the third overall selection in the 2015 USHL Phase I draft.

Doors will open at 6:15pm on Saturday, and seating will be first-come, first-serve. Concessions will be open.