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Jacks’ Offensive Efforts Can’t Carry Team White in BioSteel All-American Game

By Frank Zawrazky, 04/08/21, 9:45AM EDT

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Plymouth MI–Team White fell to Team Blue in the Biosteel All-American Game Wednesday night by a final of 7-1. However, Muskegon Lumberjacks players and staff shined on and off the ice. Defenseman Hank Kempf and forward Cam Berg were on the ice while athletic trainer Ian Wood and equipment manager Patrick Dooley worked their magic on the bench.

Team Blue got off to a strong start when Red Savage caught White goaltender Remington Keopple out of position, scoring at 46 seconds, and putting Team Blue up 1-0 immediately.

Again, Blue broke through, this time from Jack Devine at 8:47 increasing the lead for Blue to 2-0. 

Team White seemed to synergize as the period continued, however, Blue cashed in once more at 11:58 courtesy of Sasha Pastujov in close, tripling the scoring for the period 3-0. The next sequence carried on in the direction of Team Blue, but the chemistry started to blossom for Team White towards the end of the first period. Team White was able to gain the offensive zone, but were limited to the outside.

Kempf had one of the first good offensive opportunities for Team White, firing a difficult shot from the dot that was handled through traffic by Blue goaltender Kaidan Mbereko. At the 10:39 mark, Team White rotated goaltenders to Collin Purcell, ensuring that both goaltenders saw action in front of the dozens of scouts in attendance.

This shift did not phase Team Blue as Rutger McGroarty sniped the top corner on a magnificent goal at 15:51, and escalated the lead to 4-0. 

Shortly thereafter, a net front scrum involving Berg and Dylan Duke resulted in offsetting minor penalties at 16:30. Berg nearly had a goal but could not stuff it home. 

The 4 on 4 and Muskegon support gave some life to the offensively struggling Team White to close out the second, but there was no scoring.

Gibson Homer came in to man the net for Team Blue to begin the third period. The offense kept humming along for Team Blue as a mad scramble in front of the White net as Liam Gilmartin elevated the puck over Purcell at 5:09, making it 5-0 Blue. Just over a minute later at 6:15, Issac Howard completed the touchdown in favor of Blue. 

After a boarding call to Charlie Stramel, Team White got on the board from Ryan Ufko at 8:13 on a loose puck outside the blue paint. 

However, the scoring wasn’t done for Team Blue when Pastujov potted his second of the game at 13:06 adding more offense at 7-1. Cam Berg had a spinning chance in front of the crease but was denied by Homer. 

Team White faced a difficult challenge in the game- Kempf, Berg, and the rest of the White skaters comprised a team put together just days ago, while Team Blue featured the active Team USA U18 roster, many of whom have been playing together for nearly two years.

Other Muskegon skaters that are ranked by the NHL Central Scouting (NHLCS) that did not play tonight are Frankie Carogioiello, Jacob Guevin, Thomas Sinclair and Quinn Hutson.