Muskegon Lumberjacks
Muskegon Lumberjacks
City: Muskegon, Michigan
League: USHL
Conference: Eastern
Founded: 2010
Home Arena: Mercy Health Arena
Black, Vegas Gold, Red, White
Owner(s): Chris Ferraro, Peter Ferraro, Ron Friedman, Joel Friedman
General Manager: John Vanbiesbrouck
Head Coach: Mike Hamilton
Franchise history
2010–present: Muskegon Lumberjacks

The Muskegon Lumberjacks are a Tier 1 junior hockey team in the Eastern Conference of the United States Hockey League. They play in Muskegon, Michigan, at Mercy Health Arena. The Lumberjacks replaced the IHL franchise of the same name, which folded at the end of the 2009–10 IHL season. The team was owned by Lou and Josh Mervis under a company named Blue Ox Hockey.[1] but was sold to 3 former NHL players: brothers Chris and Peter Ferraro and John Vanbiesbrouck in June 2013.[2]

Inaugural seasonEdit

The Jacks won three straight games from November 5 through November 9, the night on which Matt Berry registered the first hat trick in team history in a 5–3 win over the Chicago Steel in Bensenville, Illinois. The Lumberjacks clinched a Clark Cup Playoff berth with a victory over the Steel at the L.C. Walker Arena on April 8.

Lumberjacks forwards Ryan Misiak and Matt Berry and defenseman Alexx Privitera were named to the CCM Eastern Conference All-Star team. Ryan Misiak led the Jacks in both points and assists with 58 and 43, respectively. Berry led the club wiith 25 goals. Micki Mihailovich set the team mark for penalty minutes with 264 and fellow defenseman Carter Foguth led the club with a +10 plus/minus rating.[3]

In the playoffs, the fifth-seeded Muskegon Lumberjacks swept Team USA in the first round best-of-three series, then lost a best-of-five series 1–3 to the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. After missing significant time in the regular season because of injury, Matt DeBlouw led the team with eight points (3 goals and 5 assists) during the Jacks' six playoff games and also led the club with a +6 plus/minus rating. Matt Berry led the team with four goals.[4]

The Jacks were one of the last five teams standing during the 2010–11 Clark Cup Playoffs. After sweeping Team USA on the road in a best-of-three first-round series, the Jacks pressed the top-seeded Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, but fell in four games in a best-of-five second-round series.[5]

2011–12 seasonEdit

Muskegon rebounded from an 0–3–0 start by winning six out of seven games from October 30 through November 18. The run put the Lumberjacks at 7–6–0 but a pair of losses to eventual Anderson Cup champion Green Bay started a 2–9–2 slump, which led to the dismissal of head coach/GM Kevin Patrick on January 13. Patrick was replaced by 15-year NHL veteran and 2003 Stanley Cup winner Jim McKenzie, who previously was part of the player development staff with TPH Thunder AAA Hockey.

In late January the Lumberjacks hosted the inaugural USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at L.C. Walker Arena, featuring the league's best talent eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft. Muskegon was represented by Matt DeBlouw, Mark Yanis and Czech winger Adam Chlapik. Team East beat Team West 5–3 in a game that set a record for event viewership on; it was called by Lumberjacks broadcaster Matt Gajtka and Youngstown Phantoms play-by-play man Bart Logan.

On February 25 the Jacks rallied from 3–0 down in the first period to beat second-place Indiana 6–5 in a shootout at home. Dakota Klecha scored the franchise's first hat trick in nearly a year in a 6–1 win over the National Under-17 Team on March 17. Klecha's first goal tied a USHL record for fastest goal from the start of a game, as it came just seven seconds into the first period.

Muskegon capped a three-game homestand with a 4–3 shootout victory over Green Bay on March 24, handing the Gamblers just their fourth road loss of the season. Defenseman Rasmus Bengtsson, a second round pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2011 NHL Draft, scored the shootout winner, and goalie John Keeney, acquired from the Omaha Lancers in an October trade, stopped all four Green Bay attempts in the tiebreaker after making 36 saves through regulation and overtime.

Although the team finished last in the Eastern Conference with a 17-35-8 record, the offseason began on a very positive note as five players with Lumberjacks ties were taken in the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh. Michigan State recruit Matt DeBlouw was the Jacks' only active player to be drafted; he went to the Calgary Flames in the seventh round. Two Lumberjacks from the team's inaugural USHL season also heard their names called (Brendan Woods - Carolina, Jaycob Megna - Anaheim), as did two of Muskegon's future prospects (Adam Gilmour - Minnesota, Doyle Somerby - New York Islanders).

Season-by-season recordEdit

Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, SOL = Shoot out Losses GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, Pts = Points

Season GP W L T OTL SOL GF GA Pts Finish Playoffs
2010-11 60 24 28 - 3 5 187 235 56 5th of 8 Eastern

Won First Round 2-0 (US NTDP)

Lost Quarterfinals 1-3 (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders)

2011-12 60 17 35 - 6 2 164 238 42 8th of 8 Eastern Did not qualify
2012-13 64 31 23 - 3 7 183 175 72 4th of 8 Eastern Lost Quarterfinals 0-3 (Dubuque Fighting Saints)
2013-14 60 30 25 - 3 2 190 212 65

5th of 7 Eastern

Did not qualify
2014-15 60 35 21 - 2 2 184 179 74 4th of 8 Eastern

Won Quarterfinals 3-1 (Youngstown Phantoms)
Won Semifinals 3-2 (Dubuque Fighting Saints)
Lost Final 0-3 (Sioux Falls Stampede)

2015-16 60 27 26 - 3 4 189 217 61 7th of 9 EasternDid not qualify
2016-17 60 37 18 - 3 2 192 157 79 3rd of 9 EasternLost Quarterfinals 3-1 (Dubuque Fighting Saints)


External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.