MUSKEGON, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks downed the Green Bay Gamblers 3-1 Saturday night, winning the series 2-0 and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Jan Skorpik made 26 saves in the win and Cristophe Tellier won the game with a netfront goal 15:05 into the third.
An early 5-on-3 for Muskegon did not result in any scoring but did give energy to the Lumberjacks, who cycled very well in the offensive zone. Green Bay also fed off of their penalty kill, creating some pressure of their own.
Goaltender Matt Davis of Green Bay played phenomenal between the pipes and kept the Gamblers and Lumberjacks tied at 0 to end the first period, despite the Jacks outshooting Green Bay 10-5.
Muskegon came out of the gates into the second with a lot of energy and got a couple quick chances in close, but Davis denied them all. However, Danil Gushchin was not to be stopped on a wicked wrist shot over the glove of Davis giving the Lumberjacks the lead 1-0 at 6:24.
The Gamblers nearly responded but whiffed on an open net, keeping the advantage for Muskegon. Green Bay got a 5 on 3 of their own for 1:24, but it was killed off through some great shot blocking by the killers and outstanding saves by Skorpik.
Green Bay had a lot of energy out of the second intermission, and nearly evened the game on a post shot. Green Bay eventually tied the game 1-1 at 5:27 off a net front scramble. Mason Lohrei capitalized on a loose puck, banging it past Skorpik and tying things up in the third.
This looming threat from the Gamblers energized Muskegon, who revved up an onslaught of shots on Davis. Davis coughed up a puck out of his glove, and Cristophe Tellier made him pay at 15:05 on the doorstep giving Muskegon the late lead. An empty net goal at 19:15 by Cam Berg sealed the deal and sent Muskegon to the conference finals.
If Chicago holds on to win their series against Dubuque, the Jacks will play at Chicago in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday May 7 at 8:05 pm EST.
Muskegon Goals: Gushchin (1), Tellier (2), Berg (2)
Muskegon Assists: Quinn Hutson (1), Jack Williams (1), Nick Portz (1), Tanner Kelly (2), Dylan Wendt (1), Alex Gagne (1)