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PREVIEW — Muskegon treks to the Hawkeye State for weekend series against Dubuque

By Ryan Vallon, 11/17/21, 3:00PM EST

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MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Lumberjacks will travel to Dubuque, Iowa for two-game weekend series against the Fighting Saints on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20, respectively. Puck drop is slated at 8:05 pm EST both nights from the Mystique Community Ice Center. This series will mark the second time these two teams have played against each other this season, with Muskegon’s record against Dubuque standing at 1-1-0-0 dating back to the end of October. The last time these two clubs met, both teams split the weekend series, with the Saints claiming the first contest 7-to-4 on Friday, Oct. 29 with the Lumberjacks earning a point the following night on Saturday, Oct. 30 in a 4-to-3 shootout loss.

Fighting Against the Saints

The Dubuque Fighting Saints come into this weekend with an overall record of 7-2-2-2, which is good for third place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points. In their most recent outing, the Saints were trampled by the Chicago Steel on Nov. 12 by a final score of 6-to-3. Dubuque rosters a pair of NHL draft picks, those being defenseman Samuel Sjölund, who was selected by the Dallas Stars #111 overall in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, and goaltender Philip Svedbäck, who was selected by the Boston Bruins #117 overall in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Leading the way for Dubuque is forward Stephen Halliday who currently leads the team in points with a stat line of nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points. Connor Kurth is the goal-scoring leader for the Saints, having scored 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points. For assists, Ryan Beck leads that category with 13 assists to go along with his three goals for 16 points. On defense, Samuel Sjölund stands out as he leads team defensemen in goals, having scored four goals and three assists for seven points in 13 games played this year. Dubuque spreads the wealth on the blue line, with Austin Oravetz and Axel Kumlin each factoring into the score sheet each night. In goal, Philip Svedbäck has owned the crease as Dubuque’s number one goaltender. Through eight games this year, Svedbäck has a 5-1-2 record, with a 2.98 GAA and a .894 save percentage. The Stockholm, Sweden native and Bruins draft pick is committed to playing at Providence College.

About Last Weekend

On Saturday, Nov. 13, the Lumberjacks earned their third win of the season last week in a 5-to-4 overtime thriller against the Chicago Steel. For the third time this season, Muskegon had a light week, with just the single-game weekend. Saturday’s game in Chicago saw the Jacks rise to the occasion and hold a multi-goal lead, but had to be settled in overtime. Emil Jarventie, Jack Williams, Parker Lindauer, and Joey Larson all scored, with Owen Mehlenbacher potting the game-winning goal 2:19 into the extra session. With the win, the Lumberjacks pocketed their third win of the season and climb to seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with nine points and an overall record of 3-7-1-2 on the year.

Closing in on the Century Mark

Lumberjacks Head Coach Mike Hamilton is closing in on 100 regular-season wins as head coach, currently sitting one behind the century mark at 99 career wins. Hamilton, recipient of the USHL Coach of the Year Award in 2021, returns for his fourth season behind the bench and a four-year contract extension, making him the longest-tenured coach in Lumberjacks history. The River Rouge, Mich. native is also the winningest coach in Lumberjacks history with a combined record of 99-63-11-5.

From Russia, with love

The Muskegon Lumberjacks have announced today the addition of Russian-born goaltender Alexander Kuleshov from Tolpar Ufa in the MHL. Kuleshov, the 6-foot, 198-pound netminder appeared in 26 games with Tolpar Ufa during the 2020-21 regular season with a record of 14-8-4, putting up a 2.25 GAA and a .923 save percentage. In eleven playoff games last season, the Ufa, Russia native was 6-3-1 with a 2.54 GAA and a .923 save percentage. With the addition of Kuleshov, Muskegon now has a pair of Russian-born goaltenders. Most recently, the Lumberjacks acquired goaltender Platon Zadorozhnyy, a native of Moscow, Russia. Muskegon has also become a Russian pipeline, importing players such as Andrei Svechnikov, Egor Afanasyev, Daniil Gushchin, Alex Yakovenko, and Igor Larionov Jr. from Eastern Europe.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

This past week, two Lumberjacks signed their National Letter of Intent to their respective colleges and universities, with those being forward Tyler Hotson and goaltender Cameron Korpi. Hotson, the Stratford, Ontario native recently signed his NLI to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute out of the ECAC. The 6-foot, 163-pound forward has appeared in 13 games with the Lumberjacks this season, totaling four goals and three assists for seven points. Korpi, the South Lyon, Mich. native recently signed his NLI to Western Michigan University out of the NCHC. The 6-foot-2, 147-pound goaltender has appeared in four games with the Lumberjacks this season, with a record of 0-2-0, a goals-against-average of 4.44, and a .842 save percentage. In addition to Hotson and Korpi, Quinn Hutson (Boston University), Joey Larson (Northern Michigan University), Ben Strinden (University of North Dakota), and Jack Williams (Northeastern University) all signed their NLI’s last week.

Upcoming Theme Nights - Flaunt Your Flannel & Saturday Night Fever

On Friday, Nov. 26, rock your favorite flannel and show your Lumberjack Pride because it’s time to FLANNEL OUT at  Mercy Health Arena for Flaunt Your Flannel! The following night on Saturday, Nov. 27, it’s time to throw on your bell bottoms and jumpsuits! Mercy Health Arena is transforming into the disco as we get our boogie on to some groovy throwbacks! It’s Saturday Night Fever baby! For more information, call the Muskegon Lumberjacks Business office at (231)-799-7000 or email afranczek@muskegonlumberjacks.com.

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.

NHL Central Scouting Watch List

On Tuesday, Oct. 19, National Hockey League (NHL) Central Scouting released their preliminary watch list for the upcoming 2022 NHL Entry Draft. In all, six current and three future Jacks made the list. Current Lumberjacks include defensemen Tyler Dunbar, Jacob Guevin, and Jeremiah Slavin; forwards Owen Mehlenbacher and Ethan Whitcomb; and goaltender Cameron Korpi. In addition to the original six, three affiliates were named to the watch list, those being Michael Callow, Matthew Morden, and George Fegaras. The Lumberjacks also boast 12 players eligible to be selected in this year's NHL Entry Draft which will take place from July 7 through July 9 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.

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 at Amherst, 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 fi2020-21 season, totaling five goals and 12 assists for 17 points.

Upcoming Home Games

Fri.  Nov. 26 | 7:10 pm EST | vs. Madison | Flaunt Your Flannel | BUY TICKETS

Sat. Nov. 27 | 7:10 pm EST | vs. Madison | Saturday Night Fever | BUY TICKETS

Fri.  Dec. 3 | 7:10 pm EST | vs. Cedar Rapids | Teddy Bear Toss | BUY TICKETS

Sat. Dec. 4 | 7:10 pm EST | vs. Cedar Rapids | Margaritaville | BUY TICKETS

Sun. Dec. 5 | 4:00 pm EST | vs. Cedar Rapids | Princess & Hero Night | BUY TICKETS

Fri. Dec. 10 | 7:10 pm EST | vs. Team USA U17 | Ugly Sweater Night | BUY TICKETS

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.

NEXT GAME: at Dubuque (11/19 @ 8:05 PM)

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