MUSKEGON, MI – The Muskegon Lumberjacks are 16 percent of the way through their regular season and they still haven’t had back-to-back home games.
That is about to stop in a big way though, as the Lumberjacks will play host in their next five games, beginning with a pair of games this weekend.
Waterloo and Youngstown invade Muskegon Friday and Saturday night, respectively, for what promises to be a couple of highly competitive games.
“It was definitely a different kind of start,” Muskegon coach Mike Hamilton said. “Even our home games were preceded by away games, so this will be the first time our guys get to sleep in their own beds before a game.
“It’s a much needed couple of weeks with the injury bug and sick bug and everything that’s going on.”
As Hamilton alluded to, Muskegon’s only played two of its games at L.C. Walker Arena, and both on a Saturday on the back end of away-and-home weekends.
Still, the Lumberjacks come into the homestand as the hottest team in the United States Hockey League with six-straight wins.
The Black Hawks come in with just one loss on the season and lead the Western Conference.
Muskegon will face a big challenge in scoring against Waterloo, which has allowed a league-low 12 goals through eight games.
“They are very sound defensively, and they have one of the best d-corps in the USHL,” Hamilton said. “They’re structure is sound, and they give up no odd-man rushes. Our chances will be limited, so our focus this week has been findings way to create more chances.”
The Phantoms have not had the success as Waterloo has so far this year, as they enter the weekend at 4-4-2.
However, two of Youngstown’s wins this season came over the Lumberjacks at the Covelli Centre.
“We went into their barn and they got us both times, although I thought we were deserving of a better result in the second one,” Hamilton said of his squad’s 4-2 and 3-2 losses in Week 2 of the regular season
“Our guys have had a great string of success, so this weekend is a good test for us. One of the best ways to see how far we’ve actually come is to face a team Saturday that we’ve already lost to. The guys have a chance to respond and show that we have taken a couple of steps forward in the past couple of weeks.”
Friday’s game at L.C. Walker Arena is $2 beer night presented by Little River Casino Resort. Saturday’s contest is Marvel Night.
Both games start at 7:05 p.m.
You can order tickets for this weekend’s games online through muskegonlumberjacks.com, in person at the L.C. Walker Arena Team Store or by phone through 231-726-2400.
For season or group ticket packages, call 231-799-7000.