Rhett Pitlick recorded a hat trick and Muskegon blitzed Dubuque for seven goals in a decisive 7-1 win on Tuesday night. The Saints got the lone goal off the stick of Connor Kurth but couldn’t contain the Jacks high octane offense.
-The first five minutes featured a great pace as the two teams traded chances back and forth. Jan Skorpik and Aidan McCarthy both generated some solid saves for their teams to keep it scoreless.
-The biggest moment of the first period, and probably the game, came when Reggie Millette took a five-minute major for head contact. Millette was shown the gate and the Lumberjacks scored three goals on the major man advantage to grab control of the game early.
-The scoring started with a Quinn Hutson goal, his first in the USHL. Just 17 seconds later, Danil Gushchin ripped a shot from the high slot to double the advantage for Muskegon. The Jacks continued to pour it on on the power play as the collected another goal from Jack Williams before the five minutes elapsed.
-It didn’t take long for Hutson to find the back of the net after his first USHL goal as he potted another with less than four minutes left in the period. Hutson found a loose puck right in front and pushed it past McCarthy for the 4-0 advantage.
-Hobie Hedquist took over between the pipes in period two and was greeted with a rude welcome from Rhett Pitlick who snuck a wraparound try under Hedquist’s left pad. Pitlick notched his second of the period at the midway mark on a giveaway to make the Muskegon lead 6-0. Pitlick now has four goals in his last two games against the Saints.
-Andrei Buyalsky was flying all night for Dubuque, but especially in the second period. He had two breakaway chances that were denied by Skorpik, and another high-quality chance in the slot where he missed the net. In his first Dubuque action, Buyalsky certainly impressed.
-Dubuque was able to break the ice in period three, scoring on the power play to give themselves life. Connor Kurth tallied the goal, continuing his strong start to the season. He now has 14 points in 13 games.
-Pitlick finished the hat trick on a breakaway in the third period. He was able to stash the puck five hole to beat Hedquist.
-Dubuque will take the ice against Muskegon tomorrow night and then after the New Year at home as they play January 2nd and 3rd. Puck drop is 7:05 and 3:05 for the Saturday, Sunday contests.