By Scott Brandenburg
PITTSBURGH, PA - The Muskegon Lumberjacks will return empty-handed from their season-opening trip to Pittsburgh.
Muskegon dropped its second and final game of the United States Hockey League Fall Classic Friday, 4-2 to the Lincoln Stars.
The Lumberjacks fall to 0-2 on the young season after dropping their opener as well, 4-1 Thursday to Dubuque.
Muskegon is a young team and will look to grow from its season-opening trek east.
"At the end of the day I don't care how many new guys you have your goal is to win games, so yeah it's a disappointing trip coming back 0-2," Muskegon coach Mike Hamilton said. "We'll get back at it Monday, hopefully learn some things and get ready for another tough weekend at Youngstown."
For the second straight game Muskegon took a 1-0 lead but couldn't hold it.
Luke Mobley scored his first of the season, and Muskegon's first power-play tally of 2019-2020, midway through the opening period with assists from Nash Nienhuis and Zack Malik.
The Stars (1-1) would answer back six minutes later, however, as Matthew Barbolini knocked one home just four seconds after a Lumberjack penalty expired.
Penalties would be a theme for Muskegon on this night, as they committed 12 infractions for a total of 35 minutes.
Being shorthanded seven times in the contest severely hampered Muskegon's chances at developing any kind of offensive flow. Neither team could dent the scoreboard in the second period.
"We had a few undisciplined penalties," Hamilton said. "In order to be successful we have to have possession of the puck, and we have to not be in the box for that to happen."
Lincoln went just 1-for-7 with the man advantage, but it did spend a majority of time in the Muskegon end. The lone power-play goal came from Josh Groll 3:38 into the third period for the Stars' first lead of the game.
Josh Lopina made it 3-1 Lincoln at 5:03 of the third period.
Oliver MacDonald showed his toughness at the net scoring a goal while being helped into the Lincoln net by a defenseman to draw Muskegon to within a goal at 3-2. Malik and Nienhuis both drew assists on MacDonald's goal as well.
The Stars answered just over a minute later, though, as Travis Treloar tallied his team's fourth goal.
Former Lumberjack Ryan McInchak earned the win in net for Lincoln, as he stopped 17-of-19 shots.
Current Lumberjack netminder Noah Giesbrecht made 23 saves but dropped to 0-2 on the season.
Muskegon's next two games are next Friday and Saturday, October 4 and 5, at Youngstown. It's home opener is October 12 against Team USA.
For the complete USHL standings, click here.