Lumberjacks Hope to Redeem “Undisciplined” Loss to Team USA

Lumberjacks Hope to Redeem “Undisciplined” Loss to Team USA

October 31, 2018 0 By Rachel Anderson

After what was described as an “undisciplined” breakdown on Saturday night against Team USA u18, Muskegon will face their foes once more Thursday morning. The Muskegon Lumberjacks’ franchise-record winning streak came to an abrupt and decisive halt.

Undisciplined Penalties End the Winning Streak

Team USA u18, Mikael Hakkarainen, Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL

Mikael Hakkarainen skates against Team USA u18 at the LC Walker Arena.

Team USA walked over Muskegon with an 8-3 win at the LC Walker Arena. Though the very promising Jack Hughes didn’t tally any points that night, his fellow teammates Trevor Zegras and Cole Caufield had no trouble making up for the lack. The Lumberjacks failure was not a result of Hughes or his superstar teammates, however. According to Head Coach Mike Hamilton and Captain Nolan Sullivan, the undisciplined penalties is what eventually sealed their fate. “We took too many questionable penalties, I thought,” Hamilton told Access Hockey MI. He went on to say, “I thought we were poor with the puck.

On top of not being on the puck as they should have been, goaltending was struggling as well. Hamilton was forced to make the hard choice of swapping goaltenders. Brandon Bussi, who has been Muskegon’s starter in lieu of Keegan Karki’s pre-season injury. Bussi, a USHL Goaltender of the Week nomination, was forced to make way for Karki. Hamilton, having to make the hard call, was no less confident in the choice despite the loss. “He’s obviously carried us to this point here. At that point, we weren’t getting that one save we needed to turn the game around,” he told Access Hockey MI. The spark Hamilton had hoped for never came however, he chocked it up to undisciplined play – which was the over-riding theme for the night.

Lumberjacks Aim to Learn From Their Mistakes

Captain Nolan Sullivan agreed with Hamilton’s assessment. USA is not a team to leave alone with space and the puck. Attributing the loss to their undisciplined penalties and giving too much room to USA, Sullivan is confident that Thursday’s game won’t be a blowout.

Coming into the showdown against Team USA was the ultimate test – and perhaps their pride got the better of them. “That’s a very good hockey team (USA), which we respected,” Hamilton said. Acknowledging the talent is a far cry from overcoming it but Hamilton is determined to learn from the mistakes. Apart from Hughes, USA is a phenomenal team. Caufield tallied his first hat-trick and Zegras went on to earn USHL Player of the Week. There’s no denying there’s skill – but Muskegon has the tools to beat such a team. Muskegon has an 8-1-0 record so far and some of the best skaters in the league at their disposal. They won’t stay down for long.