MUSKEGON, MI- The top line of Alex Gaffney, Bobby Lynch and Daniil Gushchin scored three times, but the Muskegon Lumberjacks fell 6-3 to Team USA U18 at LC Walker Arena Saturday.
Gaffney scored two goals, Gushchin potted a goal and an assist, and Lynch added a pair of helpers in the Jacks’ loss. The Lumberjacks conclude their preseason with a level 3-3-0 record, and open the regular season September 28 against the Fargo Force.
Team USA opened the scoring with two quick goals in the first before Gaffney tallied the Jacks’ first goal with just 1:10 left in the first.
USA extended their lead with two more goals in the second, and would make it 5-1 less than a minute into the third when Cam York scored his second of the evening.
Muskegon would answer back with two quick tallies, first Gaffney stuffed a loose puck home netfront, then Gushchin split the USA defense and dangled his way to a beautiful breakaway goal.
Gushchin and Gaffney each finish the preseason with three goals and five points, tied for the team lead in each category.
A brawl would break out in the third after Oliver MacDonald checked USA star Jack Hughes in the neutral zone, leading Danny Weight to cross-check MacDonald in the back of the head. That drew the ire of Jacks’ defenseman Matt Staudacher, who returned the favor on Weight. All three players were ejected.
Team USA would put the game away with their second power-play goal of the night with 5:09 remaining.
Brandon Bussi took the loss in net, giving up four goals, and Jacob Zacharewicz finished the game. While the numbers may not look good, both goaltenders were strong, facing a total of 47 shots on net and many A+ scoring opportunities.
The Lumberjacks’ home opener is October 13 and tickets are now on sale! Visit muskegonlumberjacks.com for more information.
Muskegon goals: Gaffney (2,3), Gushchin (3)
Muskegon assists: Lynch (3,4), Gushchin (2), Nic Belpedio (3)