Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

Muskegon Lumberjacks have 2-0 series stranglehold over Dubuque after Easter weekend

By @MichaelCaples –

Easter Sunday was a good one for the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

A dominating victory has moved them within one game of the USHL’s Eastern Conference Final.

Yesterday, the Jacks posted a 5-1 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints in Game 2 of the conference semifinals at LC Walker Arena.

It was the second home win in as many days for Muskegon, after they opened the series with a 4-0 victory the day before.

“Good to see the guys respond the right way,” said head coach Mike Hamilton in a team release. “Our commitment to defense has been phenomenal. We’re taking away their good chances against us, and we’ve got guys scoring goals. It’s fun to watch.”

The combined 9-1 spread means that as the semifinals shift back to Dubuque for Game 3, the Lumberjacks have a chance to sweep the best-of-five series.

Game 3 is Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. ET, at the Mystique Ice Center. If Game 4 is needed, it will take place on Wednesday in the same location and time.

“Our goal is go in to Dubuque and get a split,” said Hamilton. “We don’t care if it’s Game 3 or Game 4, we want to go there and win the series.”

A winner-take-all Game 5, if necessary, would be back in Muskegon on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Bobby Lynch has been on fire for Muskegon to start the postseason; the Grand Blanc native has five points in two games.

He’s not the only one filling up the scoresheet, though. Thirteen different Jacks have registered a point over the two contests, while Colby Bukes and Mikael Hakkarainen each have three, and Nolan Sullivan, Jack Williams and Alex Gaffney each have two.

Western Michigan commit Brandon Bussi has been a brick wall between the pipes, stopping 40 of the 41 shots sent his way over Games 1 and 2. He holds a .976 save percentage and 0.50 goals-against average rolling into the road trip.