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Current and Former Lumberjacks Shine at World Juniors

By Scott Bradford, 01/06/21, 5:00PM EST

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MUSKEGON, MI- Americans John Farinacci, John Vanbiesbrouck and Hunter Skinner earned gold medals, while Russian Egor Afanasyev took fourth place at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton, Alberta.

Farinacci, who will return to Muskegon this week, was outstanding for Team USA, scoring five goals and seven points in seven games. Farinacci’s five tallies were second on the team, and his seven points ranked fourth. The Arizona Coyotes prospect is off to a blazing-hot start for Muskegon this year, scoring eight points (4-4-8) in six games.

Vanbiesbrouck, who served as the Jacks’ general manager from 2013-2018, departed Muskegon in 2018 to join USA Hockey’s front office. As the Assistant Executive Director of Hockey Operations, Vanbiesbrouck was the driving force behind selecting the American team. Vanbiesbrouck captured his first gold medal with USA Hockey, and it’s the first time the United States has won gold since 2017.

While Afanasyev failed to earn a medal for Russia, his five points (2-3-5) were second on the team. The Nashville Predators prospect played in all seven games for Russia and fired 14 shots on goal. 

During his time in Muskegon, Afanasyev blossomed into a star, leading the Jacks in scoring during 2018-’19. Egor’s total in points (62) and goals (27) are both fifth-most in franchise history for a single season.

Skinner was a late addition to Team USA, and appeared in one game for the Red, White, and Blue. Skinner, a New York Rangers fourth-round draft pick, appeared in 55 games for Muskegon across two seasons, tallying 11 points as a Lumberjack.