|Home arena||L. C. Walker Arena|
Black, Vegas Gold, Red, White
|Owner(s)||Chris Ferraro, Peter Ferraro, Ron Friedman, Joel Friedman|
|General manager||John Vanbiesbrouck|
|Head coach||John LaFontaine (2016–17)|
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are a Tier I junior ice hockey team in the Eastern Conference of the United States Hockey League. They play in Muskegon, Michigan, at L. C. Walker Arena. The Lumberjacks replaced the International Hockey League franchise (IHL) of the same name, which relocated to Evansville, Indiana, at the end of the 2009–10 IHL season.
|This section is incomplete. This is because no information has been edited into this section about subject from 2012 to 2015. (February 2017)|
Lou and Josh Mervis, under a company named Blue Ox Hockey, originally owned the Danville Wings when they promoted that team from the Tier II North American Hockey League to the Tier I United States Hockey League. However, after one season, the Mervis family sold the franchise and it was relocated to become the Indiana Ice in 2004. The Mervis family had purchased the dormant Rochester Mustangs franchise to use as a new USHL team on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Illinois, but Josh Mervis agreed to be the general manager of the Ice for the first season in Indiana. After less than one season as general manager of the Ice, Josh Mervis left the team in order to focus on starting the Champaign team. However, the new proposed arena project never took off and the family began to look elsewhere such as La Crosse, Wisconsin, Battle Creek, Michigan, and Louisville, Kentucky.
In February 2010, the USHL approved the Mervis family's plan to reactivate their dormant franchise in of Muskegon for the 2010–11 season. At the time, there was a low-level minor professional hockey team playing in the International Hockey League named the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The Mervis family then acquired the Lumberjacks name and folded the professional team with the new USHL team taking on the Lumberjacks identity that had been used on and off since 1984. The Mervis family retained the former owners of the Lumberjacks, Stacey Patulskey, Jeff Patulskey and Tim Taylor, as the managerial team.
The Lumberjacks had a fairly successful inaugural season. On November 9, 2010, forward Matt Berry registered the first hat trick in team history in a 5–3 win over the Chicago Steel. 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. Misiak led the Jacks in both points and assists with 58 and 43, respectively. Berry led the club with 25 goals. In the playoffs, the fifth-seeded 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.
In the 2011–12 season, 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 Gamblers started a 2–9–2 slump, which led to the dismissal of head coach and general manager Kevin Patrick on January 13. Patrick was replaced by 15-year NHL veteran and 2003 Stanley Cup winner Jim McKenzie. The team would finish last in the Eastern Conference with a 17-35-8 record and miss the playoffs.
In late January 2012, 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 Entry 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 FastHockey.com; it was called by Lumberjacks' broadcaster Matt Gajtka and Youngstown Phantoms' play-by-play announcer Bart Logan.
The 2012 off-season began on a positive note as five players with Lumberjacks ties were taken in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Michigan State recruit Matt DeBlouw was the Lumberjacks' 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 (Brendan Woods – Carolina, Jaycob Megna – Anaheim) and two of Muskegon's future prospects (Adam Gilmour – Minnesota, Doyle Somerby – New York Islanders) were also drafted.
In the 2015–16 season, the team was able to tie with the Chicago Steel with 61 points each, landing them in seventh in the Eastern Conference and twelfth overall, but was not good enough to qualify for the playoffs. However, center Rem Pitlick was a bright spot for the team leading the league with 89 points (46 Goals and 43 Assists) in 56 games - a 1.59 points per game average. Pitlick was also the first Lumberjack to win an award as the USHL's 2015–16 Player of the Year and Forward of the Year, and being only the 22nd player to accept both. He was also named CCM Forward of the year, USA Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year, made the All-USHL first team, named to World Junior A Challenge U.S. Select Team. He was drafted in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators.
As of February 6, 2017.
|#||S/P/C||Player||Pos||Ht||Wt||DoB||Hometown||Previous team||College commitment|
|0||Boyer, JoshJosh Boyer||F||6' 2"||174 lb||1999-10-07||St. Peters, Missouri||Fairbanks (NAHL)||None|
|1||Brizgala, AdamAdam Brizgala||G||6' 0"||220 lb||1998-06-19||Prague, Czech Republic||HC Sparta Praha U20 (Czech U20)||None|
|2||Del Gaizo, MarcMarc Del Gaizo||D||5' 9"||191 lb||1999-10-11||Basking Ridge, New Jersey||New Jersey Rockets (EHL)||UMass|
|4||Bukes, ColbyColby Bukes||D||5' 11"||192 lb||1999-02-01||Littleton, Colorado||Colorado Thunderbirds U16 (Midget AAA)||Minnesota State|
|6||Farmer, TyTy Farmer||D||5' 9"||167 lb||1998-01-06||O'Fallon, Missouri||Youngstown (USHL)||Michigan State|
|7||McNeely, JackJack McNeely||D||6' 3"||185 lb||1996-12-18||Lakeville, Minnesota||Tri-City (USHL)||Minnesota State|
|8||Berzolla, ZachZach Berzolla||D||6' 2"||200 lb||1998-05-28||Howell, New Jersey||New Jersey Jr. Titans U18 (Midget AAA)||Colorado College|
|9||Hanson, BoBo Hanson (C)||D||6' 2"||203 lb||1997-11-13||Boise, Idaho||Colorado Rampage U16 (Midget AAA)||St. Lawrence|
|10||Hakkarainen, MikaelMikael Hakkarainen||F||6' 0"||183 lb||1998-01-26||Espoo, Finland||Chicago (USHL)||Providence|
|11||Howdeshell, KeeghanKeeghan Howdeshell||F||6' 1"||208 lb||1998-02-24||Brighton, Michigan||USNTDP (USHL)||Ferris State|
|13||Adams, CollinCollin Adams||F||5' 9"||172 lb||1998-04-24||Brighton, Michigan||Honeybaked U16 (Midget AAA)||North Dakota|
|14||Svechnikov, AndreiAndrei Svechnikov||F||6' 2"||188 lb||2000-03-26||Barnaul, Russia||Ak Bars Kazan U16 (Russia U16)||None|
|15||Van Wyhe, GarrettGarrett Van Wyhe||F||6' 2"||186 lb||1997-04-30||Seattle, Washington||Wichita Falls (NAHL)||Army|
|16||Steeves, MattMatt Steeves||F||6' 1"||196 lb||1997-10-04||Bedford, New Hampshire||Sioux City (USHL)||Notre Dame|
|18||Mitchell, TravisTravis Mitchell||D||6' 2"||187 lb||1999-11-25||South Lyon, Michigan||Honeybaked U16 (Midget AAA)||None|
|19||Smith, WillWill Smith||F||5' 11"||174 lb||1996-03-13||East Longmeadow, Massachusetts||Moncton (QMJHL)||None|
|20||Bender, KobyKoby Bender||F||6' 0"||203 lb||1997-07-15||Cloquet, Minnesota||Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL)||Minnesota–Duluth|
|21||Gilling, CaseyCasey Gilling||F||6' 0"||182 lb||1998-03-25||Gaylord, Michigan||Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL)||Northern Michigan|
|25||Kondelik, JachymJachym Kondelik||F||6' 6"||216 lb||1999-12-21||České Budějovice, Czech Republic||HC Ceske Budejovice U18 (Czech U18)||None|
|26||Russell, MarcusMarcus Russell||F||5' 10"||165 lb||1996-03-06||Traverse City, Michigan||Topeka (NAHL)||Michigan Tech|
|27||Del Gaizo, AnthonyAnthony Del Gaizo||F||5' 10"||198 lb||1998-01-31||Basking Ridge, New Jersey||New Jersey Rockets (EHL)||UMass|
|29||Petruzzelli, KeithKeith Petruzzelli||G||6' 5"||180 lb||1999-02-09||Wilbraham, Massachusetts||Selects Hockey Academy U18 (Midget AAA)||Quinnipiac|
- "Wings relocating to Indianapolis". OurSports Central. April 20, 2004.
- "Indiana GM Mervis Resigns". U.S. Hockey Report. January 14, 2005.
- "It's official: Lumberjacks hockey team to fold". MLive. February 8, 2010.
- "Muskegon Lumberjacks get new owners, coach". WZZM. June 13, 2013.
- "Muskegon Lumberjacks 2016-17". United States Hockey League. Retrieved February 6, 2017.