MUSKEGON – After Friday night’s exciting victory, Muskegon Lumberjacks Coach Parker Burgess talked about gaining a little steam and getting a two-win weekends, which the Jacks haven’t had since November.

But that’s very tough to do when your team spends a large part of the game killing off penalties.

The Lumberjacks, the most penalized team in the USHL Eastern Conference this season, amassed 15 penalties for 68 minutes on Saturday night.

As a result, they never got their offense going and lost 5-1 to the Youngstown Phantoms at Muskegon’s Trinity Health Arena.

Matthew Morden skates with the puck. Photo/ Tonya Pardon

The game was a penalty-fest for both teams, with numerous pushing and shoving sessions and a couple real fights.

The rough stuff started less than three minutes into the game and never really let up.

Youngstown managed to mount an attack, despite all the distractions, and outshot the Jacks by a whopping 41-18 margin.

Just over halfway through the first period, the visitors had a pretty amazing 14-1 shot advantage.

It all added up to a long night for Muskegon.

Lumberjacks’ forward Cody Croal. Photo/ Tonya Pardon

“I’m not going to comment on any officiating,” Burgess said. “I think there were times where we shot ourselves in the foot. You can’t expect to create offense when you’re killing five minutes and five-on-threes. It is hard to get other guys in the mix.

“I don’t know if it’s a lack of discipline or if it’s a conscious thing where they say ‘Screw it I am going to take a penalty.’ It’s a young high-character group that plays with a lot of competitiveness, and we have to focus on the task at hand and not getting wrapped up in other stuff.”

In between all the rough stuff, Youngstown managed to score a couple goals in the first two periods. The first came from Shane LaChance at 4:59 of the first period and the second came from Andon Cerbone at 5:11 of the second, and the Phantoms led 2-0 heading into the third.

The Lumberjacks had a pretty amazing penalty kill performance in the second period, when they faced two different 5-on-3 shorthanded situations, and were at least one skater down for a full nine minutes, but did not give up a power play goal.

Lumberjacks’ newcomer Ty Henricks shoots the puck. Photo/ Tonya Pardon.

The Jacks killed off five of six Phantom power plays in the game, but failed to score on their own five chances.
Youngstown went up 3-0 at 2:26 of the third period with another goal from Cerbone.

The Jacks made the unusual move of pulling their goalie for an extra attacker with 6:22 left in the game, and finally broke the shutout when Justin Solovey found the back of the net at 16:32 of the third period.

But Youngstown managed to get two more goals down the stretch, from Matthew Perkins at the 18:15 mark on an empty-netter, then from Blake Bechea at 18:54 to wrap up the win.

Youngstown goalie Jacob Fowler got the win for Youngstown. Muskegon goalie Raythan Robbins took the loss.