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Muskegon hosts two vs. Indiana this weekend

Muskegon hosts two vs. Indiana this weekend

This is the final season that United States Hockey League teams will play an even 60 games, as the league recently announced that the regular schedule will be increased to 64 matches next fall.

Consequently, this is the last year the USHL season can be easily broken down into segments without using long division or a calculator. So with 40 games in the books and 20 remaining for the Muskegon Lumberjacks (12-23-5, 29 points), it’s only natural to draw a line between the past and the future.

The 20-game sprint to the finish line will feature nine home games, starting with a two-tilt showdown with Eastern Conference rival Indiana (26-11-5, 57 points) this Friday and Saturday at L.C. Walker Arena. The Jacks have fared well against the Ice this season, posting a 2-1-2 record against the second-best club in the 16-team league.

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park Offers Activities and Hikes, Saturdays in March and April

As winter melts into spring, you can find adventure and exercise in P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, located at 6585 Lake Harbor Road, Muskegon. The park features 10 miles of hiking trails, 2.5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center and nature programs suitable for all ages and interests. The Visitor Center will be the meeting place for the Exploring Nature programs. Each program includes an activity or short hike. The following programs are scheduled for March and April:

March 3:  Dune Fitness Terraining, 10:30 a.m.
Looking for an exciting outdoor workout? Join us for this dynamic hike. This 1.5-hour hike will cover varied dune terrain. Teens and adults only. Bring your fitness band.

March 10 : Spring Forward Hike, 10 a.m.
Hike Hoffmaster S. P. Homestead Trail, see signs of spring, hear the story of Hoffmaster homesteaders and learn about dune formations.

Lumberjacks Alumni Game raises big money for charity

Lumberjacks Alumni Game raises big money for charity

The Muskegon alumni team got the better of the Detroit Red Wings alumni Saturday night at L.C. Walker Arena, but the big winner was the Muskegon Lumberjacks Charitable Foundation.

The Lumberjacks are pleased to announce the Red Wings Alumni Game, which attracted a lively sellout crowd of 4,802 local hockey fans, and the entire Alumni Weekend raised a total of $24,334 to benefit the MLCF.

“The outpouring of support from the community was great to see, especially since our programs are so new,” said Lumberjacks Community Relations Director Sarah Lambert. “It makes me excited for the future.

“With these funds we’ll be able to reach many more kids on our Reading Caravan and employ additional youth hockey initiatives as well.”

Lumberjacks critical month of hockey begins at home

Lumberjacks critical month of hockey begins at home

MUSKEGON, Mich. (February 1, 2012) – The Muskegon Lumberjacks earned points in two of three games last weekend, but they’ll need to pick up the pace to make a push for the Clark Cup Playoffs.

The Jacks (10-18-4, 24 points) held third period leads against the National Team and Dubuque last Friday and Sunday, respectively, but they had to settle for overtime losses in both games. Throw in Saturday’s spirited game against Indiana and Muskegon’s last five games have been decided by a total of six goals.

Those five contests make up the entirely of Head Coach Jim McKenzie’s tenure in Muskegon; the 15-year NHL veteran and Stanley Cup winner has guided the team to a 1-2-2 record since taking over Jan. 16. Despite the competitiveness of the games, however, the Jacks need results quickly if they are to jump back into contention.

Prospects Game brought hockey world’s eyes on Muskegon

Prospects Game brought hockey world’s eyes on Muskegon

MUSKEGON, Mich. (January 25, 2012) – All eyes in the hockey world focused on Muskegon Tuesday night, as the Lumberjacks hosted the inaugural USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at L.C. Walker Arena.

“It was a chance for everyone to see Muskegon and what we’re building here,” said Lumberjacks Owner/CEO Josh Mervis. “I think it was crucial to give the players this opportunity in front of all these NHL scouts. They deserve it because of their talent, but also because of how hard they’ve worked.”

Four of the 40 elite-level talents on display were Lumberjacks, as Jordan Masters, Matt DeBlouw, Adam Chlapik and Mark Yanis skated in front of their home fans and more than 200 National Hockey League decision-makers. Masters earned an assist, but all four Muskegon representatives stood out for their on-ice prowess, as did many others.

Lake Effect Chapter of the Michigan Duck Hunters Banquet

Lake Effect Chapter of the Michigan Duck Hunters Banquet

The Lake Effect Chapter of the Michigan Duck Hunters Association is a local group of dedicated conservationist and waterfowl hunters. The chapter is dedicated to conservation in our local area, and has funded projects that include installing lights at local boat launch ramps to cleaning up the rivers and streams, they have installed duck boxes and nest in waterfowl areas and have participated and held many area youth events.

Many of their projects are the result of their annual fundraiser and banquet. The event for 2012 will be held on February 23, the dinner event includes raffles, live and silent auctions and best of all the proceeds stay and are used locally.

Coach McKenzie takes charge, looks to boost Jacks

Coach McKenzie takes charge, looks to boost Jacks

MUSKEGON, Mich. – New Muskegon Lumberjacks Head Coach Jim McKenzie played 15 seasons in the NHL, so a midseason coaching change is not a foreign concept to him.

Rather, the 42-year-old native of Saskatchewan knows that a switch like this is common in a results-oriented business like sports, and he’s ready for the challenge of taking over a team midstream.

“My focus is on getting these guys ready to play,” said McKenzie, who won a Stanley Cup in 2003 with the New Jersey Devils. “I’ve tried not to change too much right away, because a lot of what they were doing was working. They’ve had some success this season and I want to help them build on that.”

The past few days have been eventful for McKenzie, as he was officially named to the position Friday morning and arrived in Muskegon over the weekend. He observed practice Monday before getting into instruction Tuesday.