URBANDALE, IA- The Muskegon Lumberjacks overcame a 2-0 deficit with three unanswered goals, spoiling the Des Moines Buccaneers’ home opener with a 3-2 win on Saturday.
Jachym Kondelik and Anthony Del Gaizo each scored a goal and added an assist, and Kondelik’s tally with just 2:39 to play in the third proved to be the dagger.
It was the Jacks’ first win at Buccaneer Arena since January of 2014, as well as their first victory of the 2017-18 season.
Adam Brizgala was once again strong in net, limiting the Bucs to just two goals in 29 shots. After two games, Brizgala’s save percentage is a sterling .955.
The Buccaneers got the first two goals of the game in the second period. First, Nicolas Werbik banged home a rebound out front, and then Nico Appendino was left alone in the slot for a power-play wrister that made it 2-0 with 5:05 to play in the second.
A rowdy crowd at Buccaneer Arena was quieted, however, when Kondelik sifted a wonderful pass to Del Gaizo on a breakaway. Anthony buried a shot from below the hash marks to draw the Jacks to within one. At the time, only 18 seconds remained in the second.
In the third, Muskegon would tie the game early on a power-play goal. Monte Graham drove hard to the net, following up a shot from Emilio Pettersen. The shot somehow crept through goaltender Ryan Snowden, and Graham poked it in to tie the game early in the third.
It was again Kondelik and Del Gaizo who provided the late heroics, as the two combined with rookie Matej Pekar for the game’s final goal. On a feed from Del Gaizo, Pekar drove the left wing, dishing a pass to the front that initially Del Gaizo whiffed. However, Kondelik was right behind Anthony in support, and blasted a one-timer past an out-of-position Snowden.
The Jacks held off one final push from the Bucs, including more than a minute of 6-on-5 skating, but Kondelik was too good defensively, using his size to lock the puck along the wall and erase valuable seconds off the clock.
The Jacks head home having split the opening weekend of the season, and will face the defending champion Chicago Steel on Friday, October 13 at LC Walker Arena for their home opener.
Muskegon goals: A. Del Gaizo (1), Mo. Graham (1), Kondelik (1)
Muskegon assists: Kondelik (1), A. Del Gaizo (1,2), Pekar (1), Pettersen (1)