Different goaltender, similar result.
Jan Skorpik stopped all 22 shots he faced on Friday night to lead the Muskegon Lumberjacks to a 3-0 victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints at Mercy Health Arena.
One night earlier, Nate Reid made 33 saves in a 5-1 win in the first game of a three-game series. The teams conclude the series at 6:05 tonight.
Skorpik overshadowed a stellar performance by Czech Republic countryman Lukas Parik, who turned in one of his best performances since joining the Saints in late January. Parik stopped a season-best 34 of 35 shots, including several saves on Grade A opportunities, before the Lumberjacks sealed the victory with a pair of empty net goals in the final 1:22 of regulation.
Skorpik became the first goaltender to shut out the Saints in nearly 14 months. Victor Ostman turned the trick on Jan. 10, 2020, with a 23-save performance in a 2-0 shutout win over the Saints in Chicago.
Owen Mehlenbacher scored the only goal Skorpik needed at 10:22 of the second period. He collected a loose puck at his own blueline and converted a breakaway opportunity for his eighth goal of the season. His wrist shot from in tight shattered Parik’s water bottle on top of the cage.
Dylan Wendt tallied the first extra-attacker goal with 1:22 remaining in regulation. It was his 17th of the season. Just 33 seconds later, Philip Tresca added another insurance empty netter to seal the victory.
Muskegon won its sixth straight and 16th in 18 outings while improving to 7-1 against Dubuque with two meetings remaining.
The Saints (19-22-3-1) received a little unexpected help in their quest for a postseason berth. Mason Lohrei and Victor Mancini scored in the final minute of regulation time to lift Green Bay to a 5-4 victory over the National Team Development Program’s U17 squad in Plymouth, Mich.
Team USA (21-20-3-4) leads the Saints by seven points for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Team USA has a .510 winning percentage to the Saints’ .467.
Muskegon briefly moved into a first-place tie with Chicago. But the Steel blanked Youngstown, 4-0, to reclaim the top spot in the East.