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Streak of Seven Unanswered Goals Help Muskegon Race Past Team USA

By Scott Bradford, 01/22/21, 10:00PM EST

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MUSKEGON, MI- After the Muskegon Lumberjacks fell behind Team USA U17 3-2 near the midway point of the first period, the Jacks then scored seven unanswered goals, beating the U17s 9-4 at home Friday night.

Newcomer Nick Portz, who was acquired in a trade on Sunday, tallied four points in his Lumberjacks debut, scoring the game’s opening two goals and later tabbing two assists. One of Portz’s goals was a remarkable diving play that beat USA netminder Tyler Muszelik under the pads.

Forward Jack Williams also notched two goals for Muskegon, one of eight Jacks who recorded multi-point games on the night.

Danil Gushchin was among those eight skaters, and his two points pushed his career total to 111; one point shy of tying Collin Adams for second all-time.

With an assist, Cameron Berg extended his point streak to 11 games, becoming the fourth Lumberjack ever to record a point streak of more than ten.

Frankie Carogioiello scored his first-career USHL goal in the second period, part of Muskegon’s run of seven unanswered.

In a game that featured plenty of family connections, brothers Quinn (Muskegon) and Lane (USA) Hutson each recorded a point. However, it was the older brother (Quinn) who notched two points in the game, and got the best of his younger brother on the scoreboard as well.

General Manager Jim McGroarty’s son Rutger scored against his dad’s team, kicking off the USA scoring in the first with a breakaway goal. 

Within 1:12 of McGroarty’s goal, Team USA had a shocking 3-2 lead after a scoring burst that chased starting goalie Nate Reid from the game. 

However, Muskegon then began pouring pucks in, scoring nine goals on 41 shots by the time the final buzzer sounded.

Muskegon at Team USA U17 rematch tomorrow night at 7:00pm at Mercy Health Arena. Limited tickets are now on sale.

Muskegon goals: Portz (6,7), Williams (6,7), Owen Mehlenbacher (5), Dylan Wendt (6), Carogioiello (1), John Larkin (1), Brad Marek (6)

Muskegon assists: Wendt (11), Gushchin (15,16), Portz (6,7), Cristophe Tellier (14), Ben Strinden (6,7), Marek (5), Hutson (5,6), Tanner Kelly (11), Berg (15), Williams (7)