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Trio of Power-Play Goals Push Dubuque Past Muskegon

By Scott Bradford, 12/30/20, 9:45PM EST

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MUSKEGON, MI- Dubuque’s power play scored three times in seven chances, propelling the Fighting Saints to a 5-3 victory over the Muskegon Lumberjacks at Mercy Health Arena Wednesday.

The Saints started fast, getting two first-period goals from Robert Cronin and Stephen Halliday. Dubuque would take a 2-0 lead into the locker room after the first despite being outshot 10-7.

In the second, Dubuque added to the lead with another power-play goal, making it 3-0 with 9:57 to play in the frame. 

Muskegon would fight back at the end of the period, getting goals from Quinn Hutson and Tanner Kelly to draw within one score heading to the third. Kelly’s goal made it 3-2 with 2:44 left in the second.

Dubuque stepped up the defensive intensity in the third, limiting Muskegon to just six shots on goal. The Saints would get a crucial power-play tally from Daniyal Dzhaniyev, making the lead 4-2 with 4:38 to play in regulation.

Muskegon refused to go away, and again cut into the Saints’ lead late in the third. With 2:32 remaining, Dylan Wendt poked a rebound past goaltender Hobie Hedquist, drawing the Jacks within one once more.

However, the comeback bid was cut short when PJ Fletcher found the empty net with 34 seconds remaining, sealing Dubuque’s 5-3 win.

After starting the year 1-10-0, Dubuque has now won two of three, both on the road.

Muskegon’s Jan Skorpik started for the fourth consecutive game in net, and stopped 17 of 21 Dubuque shots. Skorpik falls to 5-4-0 on the season.

Muskegon’s penalty kill was successful in killing just four of seven penalties, while their power play got only one opportunity.

Danil Gushchin failed to get a point for the first time in seven games, cutting his season-long point streak short.

Muskegon next takes the ice on the road against Team USA on Saturday.

Muskegon goals: Hutson (3), Kelly (4), Wendt (4)

Muskegon assists: Jacob Guevin (10,11), Bradley Marek (3), Cameron Berg (9)