The Muskegon Lumberjacks used three third periods goals to skate past the Fighting Saints in game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Muskegon recorded 38 shots on net and if not for the heroics of Matthew Thiessen, may have had two or three more goals. The Lumberjacks looked to be the fresher team and wore down Dubuque through the first two periods. The two teams will battle for game two tomorrow.
-Brandon Bussi recorded his eighth shutout of the season and first of the postseason with 19 saves in the game. Bussi made a few strong stops, but really didn’t have to work much for the clean slate. The defense in front of Bussi was phenomenal.
-Matthew Thiessen was probably the better goalie, he just didn’t get any goal support. Thiessen stopped 34 pucks and had 29 saves after two periods. The Dubuque netminder just couldn’t keep Muskegon at bay in the third.
-Dubuque looked sluggish in the third period after battling hard through the first two periods. After coming back from 1-0 deficits in the first two games of this years postseason, Dubuque couldn’t repeat their magic touch in tonight’s game.
-Nolan Sullivan had the game winning goal and added an assist, Bobby Lynch had three assists and Muskegon produced a balanced attack all night long.
-The Lumberjacks were 2/5 on the power play and limited. Dubuque’s chances, going 4/4 on the penalty kill. The Fighting Saints puck movement wasn’t crisp on their man advantages during the game and Muskegon had some dangerous chances shorthanded.
-The game was the hardest checking of the season between the two teams. Muskegon showed a physicality that had been absent from their games the first four meetings. Dubuque matched it, but the combination of physical play and skating from Muskegon was a tough matchup.
-The two teams will tangle again tomorrow as the Fighting Saints look to even the series. Dubuque and Muskegon will drop the puck at 5:15 ET/4:15 CT. After that it will be back to Dubuque to game three and four if necessary.