DUBUQUE, Iowa — Muskegon Lumberjacks Head Coach Mike Hamilton earned his 100th victory behind the Lumberjacks bench as his team won a thrilling seesaw battle over the Dubuque Fighting Saints by a final score of 7-to-5 from Mystique Community Ice Center on Friday, Nov. 19. Phil Tresca and Joey Larson each scored a pair of goals for the Jacks, with Quinn Hutson, Ethan Whitcomb, and Jack Williams filling out the rest of the scoresheet as Muskegon put up a touchdown over the Saints.
Both squads played a tight first period, with each team hitting the post on more than one occasion, but it would be the visitors struck first. Muskegon’s Phil Tresca scored the first goal of the game at 18:09 of the first period by tipping a shot past Saints goalie Paxton Geisel. Noah Ellis and Jack Wiliams assisted on Tresca’s third goal of the season to make a 1-to-0 lead for the Lumberjacks.
At the conclusion of the first period, Muskegon carried a 1-to-0 lead into the dressing room.
The Fighting Saints would even the score 89 seconds into the middle frame from Kenny Connors. Ryan Beck and Tristan Lemyre assisted Connor’s goal at 1:29 of the second period to tie the game 1-to-1.
But the Lumberjacks would once again pull ahead on an identical goal from Phil Tresca assisted by Noah Ellis and Jack Williams. Tresca’s second goal of the game at 4:01 of the second period put the Lumberjacks up 2-to-1.
Alas, the Saints would find a way to tie the game again, this time from Samuel Sjölund at 9:41 of the second period. Ryan Beck and Kenny Connors assisted Sjölund’s fifth goal of the season to level the score 2-to-2.
With momentum, the Saints held their first lead of the contest, courtesy of Stephen Halliday at 17:57 of the middle frame. Zane Demsey picked up an assist on Halliday’s 10th lamplighter of the season to make it a 3-to-2 lead for Dubuque.
After two periods of action, the Saints found themselves in front of Muskegon by a score of 3-to-2.
Down by a goal for the first time, the Lumberjacks tied the game while on the power play from Joey Larson at 4:24 of the third period. David Hymovitch and Jacob Guevin scooped up assists to make it a 3-to-3 tie.
While shorthanded, Lumberjacks forward Quinn Hutson would put Muskegon in front at 9:23 of the third period. Hutson’s seventh goal of the year was unassisted to give the Jacks a 4-to-3 lead.
But the seesaw battle continued as Dubuque responded with a power play goal by Max Montes at 10:47 of the third period. Kenny Connors and Tristan Lemyre picked up assists to tie the game 4-to-4 in the final period of regulation.
The tight battle continued with Joey Larson scoring his second goal of the contest for Muskegon as the Lumberjacks took command at 16:09 of regulation. Larson’s team-leading eighth goal of the season was assisted by Ben Strinden and Quinn Hutson to give Muskegon a 5-to-4 lead.
Forty-four seconds later, the Saints tied the game once again, this time from Riley Stuart at 16:53 of the third period. Stuart’s goal was helped by Zane Demsey and Riley Rosenthal to square the game at five.
The crazy period continued in favor of Muskegon, with Ethan Whitcomb netting his first goal of the season with just under two minutes left in regulation. Jake Braccini picked up the lone assist to give the Lumberjacks a 6-to-5 lead at 18:04 of the third period.
With an open net, Lumberjacks captain Jack Williams tucked in the dagger to give Muskegon a two-goal lead and a 7-to-5 advantage.
In the end, the Lumberjacks held on for their fourth victory of the season and the first win in regulation.
100 Wins for Coach Hamilton
With his 100th victory as head coach, Mike Hamilton becomes the first bench boss in team history to hit triple digits in the win column. Last season, Hamilton became the winningest head coach in franchise history to go along with being named USHL Coach of the Year in 2021 and a four-year contract extension. Hamilton's regular season record now stands at 100-63-11-5.
The Muskegon Lumberjacks look to finish off the Saints for game two of the weekend series against the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Saturday, November 20. Puck drop is slated for 8:05 pm EST from Mystique Community Ice Center.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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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 and the local community.