The Muskegon Lumberjacks got their first win in 2020 with an offensive explosion against Cedar Rapids on Saturday night.
The Lumberjacks bounced back from Friday night’s overtime loss with an 8-4 victory over the RoughRiders at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena in Iowa.
Muskegon is now 12-14-3 on the season, good for 27 points and sixth place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.
The Lumberjacks will continue their five-game road trip on Thursday against the Green Bay Gamblers. Faceoff is slated for 8:05 p.m.
“This was a good game all the way around,” said Lumberjacks coach Mike Hamilton. “The good offense started with good defense that led to break outs.”
Alex Gaffney lead the Lumberjacks with a three-goal hat trick, while Cameron Berg added two tallies along with an assist.
Rhett Pitlick, Dylan Wendt and Christophe Fillion each chipped in with two assists for Muskegon.
“We had a handful of guys get involved today and a couple of players score their first goals,” said Hamilton. “I’m glad to see the guys responded tonight and it was a huge weekend for us. I think we took a step in the right direction.”
The Lumberjacks opened the scoring 7:26 into the opening period on Jan Lasak’s first goal of the season.
Muskegon increased its advantage 2-0 with Gaffney’s first goal of the game 10:11 into the first period.
Gaffney added his second goal of the contest 17:08 into the first period to give the Lumberjacks a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Muskegon outshot the RoughRiders by a 17-10 margin during the first period.
The RoughRiders cut their deficit to 3-1 at the 30-second mark of the second period on a goal from Bennett Zmolek.
The Lumberjacks responded with a goal from Cameron Berg 4:53 into the second period and Tyler Dunbar at the 6:26 mark of the middle stanza to give Muskegon a 5-1 lead.
Cedar Rapids cut the deficit to 5-2 with a goal from Jack O’Leary, 14:42 into the second period.
Muskegon led 5-2 heading into the final period with a 30-27 advantage in shots on goal.
Berg added his second goal of the game 13 seconds into the third period to increase the Lumberjacks lead, then Gaffney completed his three-goal hat trick at the 1:11 mark of the final stanza, giving the Lumberjacks a lopsided 7-2 lead.
The Lumberjacks increased their lead to 8-2 on a goal from AJ Hodges 9:10 into the third period.
Cedar Rapids then closed out the scoring with goals from Nate Hanley (12:30) and Nikolai Mayorov (17:58).
The Lumberjacks outshot Cedar Rapids by a 40-37 margin throughout the contest.
Jack Williams picked up the win in net for Muskegon, stopping 33 of 37 shots.