MUSKEGON, MI- Team USA U17 scored four unanswered goals in the third period to erase a 4-2 deficit and come away with a 6-4 win over the Muskegon Lumberjacks Friday.
For Team USA, it was the first time this season they have trailed entering the third and come back to win the game. For Muskegon, it was the first time this year that they had failed to win after taking a lead into the third.
Muskegon started fast, getting a goal from Jacob Guevin just 50 seconds into the game. Guevin leads all rookie skaters with 23 points this season.
The Jacks added to the lead in the final minute of the first when Nick Portz scored a shorthanded goal to make it 2-0 Jacks after one.
In the second, Team USA got within one when Jimmy Snuggerud scored a fluky goal from the right wall, but Muskegon answered back less than a minute later when the puck caromed in off of Tanner Kelly to make the score 3-1.
Snuggerud struck again for the U17s, but again Muskegon replied with a goal of their own: another Kelly tally on an outstanding passing play from Cam Berg and Danil Gushchin. Kelly’s 12th of the year put Muskegon back up by two at the end of two periods.
However, things unraveled for the Jacks in the third. Team USA, led by Rutger McGroarty’s three points, roared back to score four unanswered goals and come away victorious.
McGroarty and Logan Cooley each scored on breakaways, making remarkable moves on Muskegon goaltender Nate Reid.
Muskegon fired 37 shots on USA goalie Dylan Silverstein, including 14 in the third, but the USA netminder stood tall in the win.
Muskegon plays a three-game series at home against Green Bay next week, and although Muskegon’s six-game point streak at home was snapped tonight, the Jacks are still 7-3-1 at Mercy Health Arena.
Muskegon goals: Guevin (6), Kelly (11,12), Portz (10)
Muskegon assists: Alex Gagne (12,13), Kelly (13), Brad Marek (8), Berg (20), Gushchin (22)