MUSKEGON, MI- Anthony Del Gaizo scored twice and added an assist, propelling the Muskegon Lumberjacks to a 5-3 win over the first-place Green Bay Gamblers at LC Walker Arena Friday.
The two goals also propelled Anthony to the top of the USHL in goal scoring.
Mikael Hakkarainen also scored three points, one goal and two assists, and has now racked up eight goals and 14 points in 10 games since returning from a concussion on December 8th. Since that day, Muskegon is 8-2-0, and they’ve won 10 of their last 13 games.
Bray Crowder opened the scoring on Muskegon’s first shot on net, floating a wrist shot to the top shelf from the right point. Matej Pekar was netfront on the play, wreaking enough havoc in the low slot to fool Gambler goalie Maksim Zhukov.
Green Bay would tie it with a power-play goal later in the first, but Hakkarainen’s tally came only 10 seconds later, recapturing momentum for Muskegon, who has now won five straight at home.
Del Gaizo’s first of the night came early in the third, making it 3-1 and chasing Zhukov, who leads the USHL in wins (15), from the net after allowing three goals on 13 shots.
Backup Jake Begley wouldn’t fare a ton better, and ceded a power-play goal to Vincent de Mey in the second period that build the Muskegon lead to 4-1.
The teams would trade goals in the third, with Del Gaizo’s second of the night, and league-leading 18th of the season coming with 3:08 to play. Green Bay would score a second power-play goal in the final minute, but it was too-little, too-late.
Keegan Karki, making his 13th consecutive start, stopped 29 of 32 shots, improving to 10-6-0 on the year. Begley was charged the loss and fell to 1-4-1.
Muskegon and Green Bay rematch tomorrow night at LC Walker Arena, and it’s Star Wars night! Tickets are available online and at the LC Walker Arena box office.
Muskegon goals: Crowder (4), Hakkarainen (8), A. Del Gaizo (17,18), de Mey (6)
Muskegon assists: A. Del Gaizo (10), Pekar (19,20), Hakkarainen (5,6), Colby Bukes (13)