MUSKEGON, MI- Anthony Del Gaizo scored two goals and added an assist to spearhead Muskegon’s offense to five goals, a 5-2 victory, and a weekend sweep of the Green Bay Gamblers.
On Star Wars night, the Jacks got a crowd of 3,343 involved early, scoring goals 18 seconds apart in the first five minutes of the game.
Del Gaizo leads the league in goals (20) and points (31) now, and racked up four goals and two assists in the weekend series against first-place Green Bay. Muskegon wins the regular-season series three games to one.
Bray Crowder and Mikael Hakkarainen also notched three-point nights, the first in Crowder’s career. The 6-foot-6 defenseman scored a power-play goal and added two helpers, bringing him within one goal of the league lead for blueliners.
Keegan Karki started for the 14th consecutive game in net, and made 26 saves to improve to 11-6-0 on the year.
Vincent de Mey scored for the second-straight night on a partial breakaway, making a nifty move to his backhand before tucking the puck past Gambler goalie Maksim Zhukov. Zhukov, who leads the USHL with 15 wins, fell to 1-4-0 in his career against Muskegon, making 23 saves on 27 shots.
Monte Graham notched a multi-point game as well, scoring a goal and adding an assist. In total, Muskegon had four players with at least two points, and three players with three points.
Muskegon has now won 11 of their last 14 games, and nine of their last ten. The hottest team in the Eastern Conference, if not the USHL, Muskegon has climbed to third place in the East. The Jacks began the month of December in last place in the league, and could end January in first. They are just three points behind Green Bay.
Muskegon has won six consecutive games at LC Walker Arena, but will be on the road next week. The Lumberjacks face Team USA on Monday at 2:05pm, Chicago on Friday at 8:05pm, and Waterloo on Saturday at 8:05pm. All three games will be carried on 92.5 Nash Icon and HockeyTV.com.
Muskegon goals: Graham (6), A. Del Gaizo (19,20), Crowder (5), de Mey (7)
Muskegon assists: Crowder (3,4), Matej Pekar (21), Hakkarainen (7,8,9), A. Del Gaizo (11), Emilio Pettersen (14)