Danil Gushchin and Nick Portz both scored in the overtime shootout, while goalie Nate Reid kept the opposition from finding the net, giving the Muskegon Lumberjacks an impressive 5-4 victory over the elite Team USA Under-18 squad on Wednesday in Plymouth, Michigan.
The victory was Muskegon’s second over the Under-18s in a week. The Lumberjacks improved to 28-13-3 on the season. They are in second place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference with 59 points, six points behind first-place Chicago and four ahead of third-place Green Bay.
The Jacks have 10 games remaining in the regular season. They will host the Team USA Under-18s on Friday, then travel to Plymouth again for the last of the three-game series on Saturday.
The Jacks had a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period, following early goals by Dylan Wendt and Cameron Berg.
Team USA scored three times in the second period, with goals from Logan Cooley, Jack Devine and Rutger McGroarty. Berg scored his second goal of the game, and the game was tied 3-3 after two periods.
The hosts pulled ahead 4-3 at 10:19 of the third period with a tally by Chaz Lucius, then Muskegon’s Jack Williams scored with about seven minutes left to tie things up at 4-4 and send the game to overtime.
The five-minute OT period was scoreless, leading to the shootout. Guschin and Portz both scored for Muskegon, while Reid stopped both Team USA shooters, and the Jacks skated away with the victory.
The Under-18s had a 31-29 advantage in shots on goal.