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PREVIEW - Lumberjacks fire up Flannel Fest for home-opening weekend

By Ryan Vallon, 10/13/21, 2:30PM EDT

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Credit: Chicago Steel

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Lumberjacks will open their doors to Mercy Health Arena to all fans for the first time in 595 days when the team faces off against the Chicago Steel for home-opening weekend on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15 and 16 respectively. Both games will start at 7:10 pm ET and will coincide with Flannel Fest, a weekend-long event with live music, axe throwing, hayrides, a cornhole tournament, and much more.

Stainless Steel

The Steel sit atop the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 5-0-1-0, with their lone overtime loss coming from the hands of the Madison Capitols. Forward Jackson Blake, a 2021 fourth-round draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes leads the entire USHL in points with 11 while forward Adam Fantilli is second in the league in goals with nine. Both of those players played crucial roles the last time Muskegon saw the Steel, losing 4-to-3 in overtime on Oct. 2 at Fox Valley Ice Arena, courtesy of Blake’s game-tying goal with under one minute to play in regulation and Fantilli’s overtime game-winner to steal the extra standings point.

Last Time Out

The Lumberjacks endured their second consecutive unusual one-game weekend when they crossed to the eastern side of Michigan to battle the United States National Development Program (USNTDP) U18 team. Ultimately, the Jacks fell 8-to-3 in last Saturday’s game, but special teams seemed to be a strength for the team. Muskegon’s power play was 2-for-3, moving them up to having the fourth-best power play in the USHL, operating at 27.3 percent. Both power play goals came from forward Quinn Hutson, who notched his first goal of the young season, and Tyler Dunbar, who has lit the lamp in back-to-back games, respectively. University of Wisconsin commit Owen Mehlenbacher also found the twine for the first time this season with newcomer Jake Braccini collecting his first point as a Lumberjack.

Flannel Fest

Grab your flannel and join the Lumberjacks for a two-day street party on Western Avenue in booming downtown Muskegon. Friday’s night of festivities include axe throwing and live music from the AC/DC tribute band, "Let There be Rock.” Plus, the first 100 adults to open an account with Family Financial Credit Union during Flannel Fest will become the proud owners of an exclusive white Lumberjacks jersey.

Flannel Fest continues into Saturday starting with a cornhole tournament at 11 am, with registstration starting at 10 am on site. Night two will also feature several exciting events for the whole family including fall craft vendors, hayrides, axe throwing, with Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys providing live music starting at 5 pm! Later, during the game's first intermission, watch your favorite teachers dash for cash to benefit local classrooms! Single-game tickets are still available. For more information, call the Muskegon Lumberjacks Business office at (231)-799-7000 or email afranczek@muskegonlumberjacks.com.

Lumberjacks Transactions

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the Muskegon Lumberjacks acquired forward Jake Braccini from the Fargo Force in exchange for forward Thomas Sinclair. Braccini, the 5-foot-11, 192-pound forward appeared in 54 games with Fargo during the 2020-21 regular season, totaling 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points while registering 14 penalty minutes. This season, Braccini has one goal in two games played with the Force. Sinclair, the 6-foot-3, 199-pound forward appeared in 37 games with the Lumberjacks during the 2020-21 regular season, totaling four goals and 14 assists for 18 points. This season, Sinclair has managed to put up one goal and one assist in two games played with Muskegon. The Toronto, Ontario native is committed to playing for the University of Vermont.

Jacks in the NHL Draft

The Jacks boast an NHL draft pick to the roster with defenseman Noah Ellis. Committed to play at the University of Massachusetts, Ellis was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights No. 184 overall in the sixth round of the 2020 NHL Draft. The Urbandale, Iowa native appeared in 40 games with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers during the 2020-21 season, totaling five goals and 12 assists for 17 points.

Over the Airwaves

For live video streams, all Muskegon Lumberjacks games will be broadcast on HockeyTV (Video). Additionally, all home games and select away games will be streamed on Mixlr (Audio) for free.

Upcoming Games

Fri.  Oct. 15 | 7:10 pm ET | vs. Chicago | Flannel Fest | BUY TICKETS

Sat. Oct. 16 | 7:10 pm ET | vs. Chicago | Flannel Fest | BUY TICKETS

Fri.  Oct. 22 | 8:05 PM ET | at Madison

Sat. Oct. 22 | 8:05 PM ET | at Madison

Follow the Jacks

Be sure to follow the Muskegon Lumberjacks on social media!

Facebook - Muskegon Lumberjacks

Twitter - @MuskegonJacks

Instagram - @muskegonjacks

Tik Tok - muskegonlumberjacks

About the Muskegon Lumberjacks

The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud and dedicated members of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The club’s goal is to create an environment where student-athletes develop into successful young men both on and off the ice, which includes playing the game the right way while keeping up with their studies in the classroom and staying actively involved in the West Michigan community. The organization is committed to providing quality, affordable, and top-notch family entertainment while providing positive role models for the youth for the local community.

Home Opener vs Chicago (FLANNEL FEST)

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