Muskegon, MI –– The Muskegon Lumberjacks, led by Danil Gushchin’s two goals, defeated the Youngstown Phantoms by a score of 4-2 Thursday night.
The Lumberjacks started out strong, getting a Bradley Marek goal at 2:16 against his former team. He would celebrate by flashing the Muskegon logo to the Youngstown bench, causing a stir with the Phantoms.
The Lumberjacks would draw a penalty at 8:24 in the first period. However, Quinn Hutson would get called for hooking to make it 4 on 4 for a short while and giving Youngstown a brief power play afterward.
Youngstown would have a couple of great looking partial breakaways, but Jacks goaltender Jan Skorpik stood strong. These chances culminated in a wonderful glove save at the top of his crease at 15:32 in the first period.
The Lumberjacks would start out the second period on the power play, but Skorpik misplayed the puck, resulting in a shorthanded goal by Jack Malone at 1:19, tying the game 1-1.
Muskegon would regain some of the momentum with a series of chances in front of the crease, but were unable to beat Youngstown netminder Mattias Sholl.
However, on a careening puck, Danil Gushchin whacked in a rebound from a Rhett Pitlick shot to break the tie in the Jacks’ favor at 15:02. Gushchin would not be finished, as exactly three minutes later, he would use his deceptive set of hands to slide the puck past Sholl, giving Muskegon a two goal lead 3-1 to end the second period.
The third period started with Youngstown’s Grant Hindman scoring his first-career USHL goal at 3:08 in the third period, getting the visitors within one.
For the majority of the third period, the teams exchanged scoring chances. With Youngstown trailing 3-2 late in the game, the Phantoms were whistled for two costly penalties, thwarting their comeback bid.
Tom Sinclair would seal the game, tallying an empty-net goal with just five seconds left, giving Muskegon the 4-2 victory.
The Jacks’ penalty kill was a perfect 4/4, ending a streak of five-straight games allowing a power-play goal.
Muskegon hosts Green Bay for a pair of home games tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday at Mercy Health Arena. Puck drop for both games is slated for 7:00pm and both games will be aired on the Lumberjacks Broadcast Network.
Muskegon Goals: Marek (5), Gushchin (10,11), Sinclair (2)
Muskegon Assists: Rhett Pitlick (5), Jacob Guevin (12,13), Jack Williams (5), Tanner Kelly (8), Dylan Wendt (10)