GENEVA, IL- The Muskegon Lumberjacks and Chicago Steel played one of the more thrilling hockey games you will ever see Saturday, with Muskegon emerging victorious 10-8.
The ten goals scored by Muskegon sets a new franchise best.
Chicago got out to the quick 2-0 lead in the first, getting goals from Jack Babbage and Sean Farrell in the first 7:04 of the game.
Muskegon would cut the lead to 2-1 when John Farinacci tallied on the power play. However, Chicago regained the two goal advantage with less than six to play. Matthew Coronado's goal ended goaltender Christian Stoever's night. Stoever allowed three goals on five shots, giving way to Jan Skorpik.
Following the goaltending change, Muskegon's Danil Gushchin scored twice in less than a minute to tie the score before the end of the first.
In a fast and furious second period, Muskegon took the 4-3 lead when David Hymovitch scored his first USHL goal.
Then, the teams exchanged rapid blows, each scoring twice in a span of just 1:15. Chicago tied the game momentarily, but Cameron Berg and Hank Kempf lit the lamp for the Jacks to make the score 6-4 Muskegon. For Kempf, it was his first-career USHL goal, although the veteran defenseman scored twice in the preseason.
Chicago, however, would nearly immediately get back within one when Coronato scored his second of the game with still 11:43 to play in the second frame.
Chicago then tied the game at six near the midway point of the middle period. The goal was Chicago's fourth power play goal of the night.
In the final seconds of the second, Tyler Dunbar scored for the Jacks, giving them the 7-6 lead after a hectic second that saw seven goals scored.
After two, the Jacks held a stout 32-18 lead in shots on goal.
Chicago would tie the game at seven early in the third, registering their fifth power-play goal of the night.
But, Dunbar scored his second of the game for Muskegon with 12:24 to play, and the Jacks reclaimed the lead 8-7.
But, as you may have expected if you've read this far, Chicago tied the game with a Jackson Blake goal with 7:31 to play in regulation.
But Danbar's night wasn't done yet- the blueliner completed the hat trick with just 2:17 remaining to lift Muskegon to the 9-8 lead.
Gushchin would pot an empty-netter for the Jacks, completing a hat trick of his own. It's the first time since '16-'17 that two Lumberjacks have recorded a hat trick in the same game (Mikael Hakkarainen and Austin Albrecht).
The ten goals scored by Muskegon is a new franchise record.
In total, 13 different Lumberjacks registered at least a point in the high-scoring win.
Muskegon goals: Farinacci (1), Gushchin (2,3,4), Hymovitch (1), Berg (3), Kempf (1), Dunbar (1,2,3)
Muskegon assists: Kempf (2), Christophe Fillion (3), Dylan Wendt (2,3), Alex Gagne (2), Cristophe Tellier (2), Gushchin (3), Hymovitch (2), Philip Tresca (1), Jack Williams (1), Tanner Kelly (2), Berg (2)