PLYMOUTH, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks played a tight game with Team USA U18 for the second-straight night, but ultimately fell by a final score of 4-2.
The Lumberjacks once again fell behind early, but charged back late before an empty-net goal sealed it for Team USA.
The U18s got off to a hot start, scoring 1:19 into the game when Tyler Boucher jammed a rebound past goaltender Christian Stoever to put Team USA up 1-0.
Muskegon would answer with 15:14 to play in the first, getting a power-play goal from Hank Kempf to tie the score 1-1. The Muskegon blueliner scored in both games this weekend, and both on long wrist shots.
Team USA would break the tie and then pull away, getting goals from Sasha Pastujov and Andre Gasseau to make the score 3-1 midway through the second period. But, much like last night, Muskegon would storm back.
Muskegon tallied a late second-period goal with just 1:25 remaining, seizing the momentum going into the break. Defenseman Davis Pennington stuffed home a loose puck after Tanner Kelly deked his way in on goaltender Kaidan Mbereko and trickled the puck to the top of the crease. Pennington pounced on it and the score was 3-2 after two periods.
In the third, Muskegon outshot Team USA 12-5, but couldn’t beat Mbereko. Ryan St. Louis buried the empty-netter with 56 seconds remaining to seal the USA victory.
Stoever took the loss, stopping 12 of 15 shots. Jon Williams entered the game near the midway point and stopped all six shots he faced.
Muskegon’s next series is a two-game home weekend against Youngstown with games on Friday and Saturday in Muskegon. Fans will not be allowed, but the games will air live on the Lumberjacks Broadcast Network.
Muskegon goals: Kempf (2), Pennington (1)
Muskegon assists: Jack Williams (1,2), Christophe Fillion (1), Kelly (1)