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PREVIEW — Lumberjacks welcome Youngstown and Team USA U17 for New Year's bash

By Ryan Vallon, 12/21/21, 11:15AM EST

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MUSKEGON, Mich. — After the holiday break, the Muskegon Lumberjacks will welcome the Youngstown Phantoms to Mercy Health Arena on Friday, Dec. 31 before bringing in 2022 with a home contest against Team USA U17 on Saturday, Jan. 1. Friday’s New Year’s Eve game will begin at 8:10 pm EST with Saturday’s game starting at 7:10 pm EST in downtown Muskegon. This will mark the second time Muskegon and Youngstown see each other this season, with both teams splitting the weekend series back in early November. This will also be the third time the Lumberjacks play the U17 group, with their most recent matchup on Dec. 10 and a 4-to-1 win for Muskegon.

Phantom Power

The Youngstown Phantoms have endured a struggling season this year, as they currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with 22 points and an overall record of 9-11-1-3. The last time Green Bay took the ice, they split their series with Madison, losing 4-to-1 on Dec. 10 and winning 6-to-2 on Dec. 11. The Phantoms boast a pair of NHL draft picks, those being Stiven Sardarian, who was selected by the Buffalo Sabres #88 overall in the third round of the 2021 NHL Draft, and Shane LaChance, who was selected by the Edmonton Oilers #186 overall in the sixth round of the 2021 NHL Draft. Leading the way for Youngstown is Adam Ingram who currently leads the team in goals, assists, and points with a stat line of 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points. Jaden Grant is second on the team in points, having scored 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points. Another Phantom to look out for is Ryan Alexander, who has 10 goals and six assists for 16 points. On defense, Trey Taylor leads team defensemen in goals, assists, and points, having scored three goals and 13 assists for 16 points in 24 games this year. In goal, Kyle Chauvette remains Youngstown’s number one goaltender with a record of 8-5-3 in 17 games played, a 3.03 GAA, and a .901 save percentage. The Goffstown, N.H. native recently committed to Union College.

Party in the U.S.A.

Team USA U17 comes out of the holiday break after placing second in the 2021 Four Nations Tournament which was held in Piestany, Slovakia. After defeating the host country by a score of 5-to-2 and beating the Czech Republic 4-to-1, the 17’s could not solve Russia as they were blanked 3-to-0 in the championship game. In their most recent USHL outing, the U17’s were overthrown by the Lumberjacks on Dec. 10, by a final score of 4-to-1 at Mercy Health Arena. Surprisingly, Team USA U17 still only has one singular win against USHL competition, that coming from their 5-to-2 triumph over the Green Bay Gamblers on Nov. 27. Leading the way for Team USA U17 is Gabe Perreault, who leads the team in points with a stat line of eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points. Just one point behind Perrault is Will Smith, who has 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points. Rounding out the top forward group is Oliver Moore, who has amassed 13 goals and eights assists for 21 points. In goal, the 17’s have a three-way goalie rotation with the likes of Trey Augustine, Carsen Musser, and Michael Chambre.

About Last Weekend

The Lumberjacks entered the holiday break in third place in the Eastern Conference standings after splitting with the Green Bay Gamblers. On Friday’s matchup with Green Bay, the Lumberjacks went toe-to-toe with the Gamblers, but could not hold on in the 6-to-3 defeat after giving up three goals in the third period. On Saturday night, the tables had turned as Muskegon scored three unanswered goals in the third period to split the weekend series on the 3-to-2 win. Jake Braccini, Quinn Hutson, and Jake Richard all scored for Muskegon, with Richard riding a four-game goal-scoring streak. After the split, the Lumberjacks collected two more points in the Eastern Conference standings and climb to third place with 29 points and an overall record of 13-10-1-2.

College Commitments

Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Parker Lindauer has committed to the University of Maine. The Madison, Wisc. native will become the third Lumberjack on the team to commit to the Maine Black Bears. Lindauer, the 5-foot-11, 181-pound forward has appeared in 9 games with the Lumberjacks this season, totaling two goals and three assists for five points since being traded from Tri-City to Muskegon. While in Tri-City, Lindauer has appeared in 42 total games with the Storm, totaling four goals and four assists for eight points. Lindauer becomes the third Lumberjack on this season’s roster to commit to Maine, joining Nick Peluso and Platon Zadrozhnyy as Maine recruits. The University of Maine is no stranger to players from the Muskegon pipeline. In recent years, the Lumberjacks have sent numerous players to Orono, including forward Ryan Lomberg who currently plays with the NHL’s Florida Panthers.

Upcoming Theme Nights - 13 Loves Pets/Star Wars Night/Youth Hockey Night

On Friday, Jan. 14, it’s WZZM 13 on Your Side Loves Pets! Pound Buddies will be on the concourse with rescue animals available for adoption. Then on Saturday, Jan. 15, it’s Star Wars Night! In a galaxy not far, far away...the Jacks take on the Green Bay Gamblers! Whether you’re on the light side or the dark side, you’re invited to watch the action with all your favorite Star Wars characters! Finally, on Sunday, Jan. 16, a night to honor local youth hockey organizations for Youth Hockey Night! It’s all about the kids on January 16th! 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

Lumberjacks defenseman Noah Ellis is the only Lumberjack currently drafted in the National Hockey League (NHL). Ellis was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights #184 overall in the sixth round of the 2020 NHL Draft and is committed to play at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The Urbandale, Iowa native appeared in 96 games with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers over parts of three seasons, totaling 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points.

Upcoming Home Games

Fri. Jan. 14 | 7:10 pm EST | vs. Team USA U17 | 13 Loves Pets | BUY TICKETS

Sat. Jan. 15 | 7:10 pm EST | vs. Green Bay Gamblers | Star Wars Night | BUY TICKETS

Sun. Jan. 16 | 4:00 pm EST | vs. Green Bay Gamblers | Youth Hockey Night | BUY TICKETS

Fri. Jan. 21 | 7:10 pm EST | vs. Youngstown Phantoms | 90’s Night | BUY TICKETS

Sat. Jan. 22 | 7:10 pm EST | vs. Youngstown Phantoms | Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame | 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 and the local community.