Hamilton & Lumberjacks Undefeated in Regular Season CampaignOctober 18, 2018
The Muskegon Lumberjacks have made a historic push in the opening sequence of the regular season. New Lumberjacks Head Coach, Mike Hamilton, has been the first to achieve a season-opening five game undefeated winning streak. To top it off, the Lumberjacks added a sixthHamilton & Lumberjacks Undefeated in Regular Season Campaign victory to the scoresheet on Sunday. Coming back from a first-period 3-0 deficit, Muskegon came back to win the game. The Lumberjacks are among only two USHL teams who currently are undefeated.
Muskegon Lumberjacks Fighting for Their Teammates
The game got off to a rough start after the Lumberjacks powerplay unit allowed two short-handed odd-man rushes for the Youngstown Phantoms, which resulted in goals. During intermission, Coach Hamilton’s locker room pep talk didn’t consist of anything special. According to Hamilton, “Right now we have a room that cares deeply for one another and that is showing on the ice,” he told Access Hockey MI, so no impassioned speeches were needed to get the guys back in the game for period two.
The Lumberjacks fought back with a vengeance for victory, but also for each other. The undefeated record wasn’t in the back of any of their minds. The purpose that has driven them this far into success, is their team. Assistant Coach Josh Nelson told Access Hockey MI, “I don’t think we have any selfish kids at all. They’re all just excited for each other… They’re a really tight group of kids.”
Success: A Byproduct of Hard Work
Hamilton told Access Hockey MI that the success this group is seeing is a “byproduct of hard work and preparation” which is very evident. Having a mixture of returning Lumberjacks and new faces, the team has been able to come together, and play as one unit. The return of Mikael Hakkarainen, previously committed to Providence University and a Chicago Blackhawks draft pick, has also been an added spark. “We found ways to win before he got here,” Nelson told Access Hockey MI, “but he brings a lot of energy.” Having earned two points of his own during Sunday’s contest, Hakkarainen certainly added an additional edge to help the team sweep the weekend.
With star goaltending in Brandon Bussi between the pipes and an offensive group that seems unstoppable, the future of the Muskegon Lumberjacks is bright. Despite the honors and accolades, Hamilton is focused on pushing the guys forward and develop. “We are obviously very happy to be at 6-0,” Hamilton said, “however its not a focus nor do we even talk about it. Our focus is to continue to get better every day.”
Looking to the Future
Muskegon will be on the road this weekend hoping to extend their winning streak. Jagger Joshua, who left during the second period after blocking a shot, should be back in the lineup. Goaltender Keegan Karki is also on the mend and expected to make a full recovery in the coming weeks.