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Muskegon Sweeps Weekend Series With Dubuque

By Jordan Kuhns, 11/20/21, 10:30PM CST

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Lumberjacks’ offense hums to take lead away from Fighting Saints

DUBUQUE, Iowa — The Dubuque Fighting Saints scored the first goal of the night, but the Muskegon Lumberjacks’ offensive abilities did not cease. The Jacks scored three unanswered goals in the first period, and outscored the Fighting Saints 3-1 in the second and third periods to outlast the Saints 6-3 on Saturday night at the Mystique Community Ice Center.

Muskegon’s three-goal run in the first period erased a 1-0 lead from the Saints and put them in the lead for good. Ben Strinden’s goal from the slot erased Dubuque’s solitary lead just a minute after Nikita Borodayenko scored.

Dubuque pressed the rest of the period, only to have one break go against them. The top line buzzed in the offensive zone and created three scoring chances, only to see the Lumberjacks strike. Ethan Whitcomb batted the puck out of midair past Philip Svedebäck to give Muskegon the lead. Just 62 seconds later, Joey Larson squeaked one by to give Muskegon a 3-1 lead.

Kenny Connors got the Fighting Saints back within one with a goal on the rebound. Tristan Lemyre dug away at a loose puck in front of Muskegon starter Alexander Kuleshov and Connors stashed in the rebound with less than a minute to go to get the Saints close.

Jacob Braccini’s goal to open the second period spelled the end of the night for Svedebäck. Paxton Geisel entered the game in relief at the three-minute mark of the second period, and the momentum swung to Dubuque immediately. Connor Kurth and Ryan Beck played give-and-go, and Beck converted on a shot in tight to get Dubuque within one again at 4-3.

Muskegon scored the final two goals of the season with tallies from Braccini and Larson and put the game away. Larson’s goal on the power play came at the 4:03 mark of the third period.

The Fighting Saints outshot the Lumberjacks 29-22 for the game. In his USHL debut, Kuleshov made 26 saves on 29 shots on goal.

The Fighting Saints have a busy week ahead with three games in four nights surrounded by Thanksgiving on Thursday. The first of three games starts on the road in Green Bay to take on the Gamblers at Resch Center on Wednesday, November 24 at 7:05 p.m.