Mikael Hakkarainen, Muskegon Lumberjacks (courtesy Hickling Images)
After losing their first game of the season to the U18s on Saturday, the Muskegon Lumberjacks got their revenge on Thursday morning with a 6-4 win over Team USA at L.C. Walker Arena. After falling behind 1-0 thanks to Henry Thrun's goal 13:57 into the first period, Muskegon responded with goals from Bobby Lynch and Brock Bremer to take a 2-1 lead into the second frame. After both teams scored twice in the second period to make it a 4-3 Muskegon lead, the Jacks extended their lead to two with Chicago Blackhawks prospect Mikael Hakkarainen's second goal of the game and fifth of the year. 2019 NHL Draft prospect Jack Hughes scored midway through the frame to cut his team's deficit to one, but that's as close as the U18s would get, as Oliver MacDonald added an empty net goal to seal the 6-4 victory for the Lumberjacks, moving them to 9-1-0-0 on the season.
Hakkarainen added an assist along with his pair of goals, Lynch dished out two helpers in addition to his tally, MacDonald recorded two points (1G, 1A) in the contest and Colby Bukes tallied three assists. Brandon Bussi bounced back from his first loss of the season with a 27-save performance to move to 9-1-0-0 on the year.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 17th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2018-19. The USHL had a record 45 players selected at the 2018 NHL Draft, more than any junior league in the world, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.