GENEVA, IL- The Muskegon Lumberjacks pushed their winning streak to six games, beating the first-place Chicago Steel 6-3, and tying a franchise record set in 2013-’14.
The victory moved the Lumberjacks to 12-11-2, and above .500 for the first time this season.
Colby Bukes scored the game-winning goal, a cannon slap shot late in the second period that made the score 4-2 at the time. Bukes added an assist, giving him seven points in his last four games.
Emilio Pettersen scored twice in the win, extending a now five-game point streak. Following a slow start, Pettersen has picked up his offensive production, and has scored eight points in his five-game streak. In his last four games, Pettersen has a +9 rating.
Egor Afanasyev and Wyatt Bongiovanni also tallied multi-point games, and Bongiovanni now has 24 points to pace the Lumberjacks. Bongiovanni, like Pettersen, was sluggish to start the year, scoring just two points in his first nine games as a Lumberjack. Since then, Bongiovanni has been one of the hottest players in the USHL, notching 12 goals and 22 points in 16 games.
Keegan Karki, starting for the 10th consecutive game, earned his eighth win of the season allowing three goals on 23 Chicago shots. Karki has not allowed more than three goals in any of Muskegon’s last eight games. In that span, Karki’s GAA is 2.13.
In last place earlier in the month of December, Muskegon now sits in fifth place, and only three points out of first in the wide-open Eastern Conference.
The Jacks will try and break the franchise record with a seventh-straight win next weekend (Jan 5&6) in Dubuque, taking on the 3rd-place Fighting Saints. The Jacks will face Dubuque on Friday and Saturday nights, with both games airing live on 92.5 Nash Icon.
Star Wars night (Jan. 13) is fast approaching- call the LC Walker Arena box office at 231-726-2400 for tickets!
Muskegon goals: Marc Del Gaizo (2), Afanasyev (3), Pettersen (6,7), Bukes (2), Matej Pekar (5)
Muskegon assists: Will Schlagenhauf (3), Afanasyev (5), Bukes (12), Bongiovanni (11,12), Mikael Hakkarainen (4), Anthony Del Gaizo (8)