BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Central Illinois Flying Aces lost, 5 to 2, to the Muskegon Lumberjacks tonight.
The Flying Aces had a chance shorthanded early in the first period, but the shot trickled wide of the net after passing the goaltender.
Muskegon struck first and scored three first period goals. The first came from Nolan Sullivan midway through the period when he out-waited the goaltender and scored top-shelf. Andrej Kollar scored shorthanded for the Lumberjacks with a quick wrist shot from the right circle after he broke out on a two-on-one after a long rebound from an Aces shot. The third goal came from Colby Bukes after he maneuvered into the slot and scored. Bukes was ejected later in the period for a game misconduct due to head contact.
Stephen Halliday (Toronto, Ont.) scored to get the Flying Aces on the board midway through the second. Tyler Gratton (Pottstown, Penn.) picked up an errant pass from a Muskegon player and threaded the puck through two more Lumberjacks to Halliday at the far blue line. Halliday’s shot went off the top-left corner of the post, back off the goaltender, and into the back of the net to make it a two-goal game.
Less than a minute into the third, Muskegon scored their fourth of the night when Oliver MacDonald went on a breakaway and scored five-hole.
Fifty seconds later, Chad Hillebrand (Skokie, Ill.) won a board battle from a dumped-in puck and passed to Connor Mayer (Champlin, Minn.) in the low slot. Mayer buried the puck into the back of the net.
Muskegon finished the game with an empty net goal for a final score of 5 to 2.
Ryan Snowden (Kennett Square, Penn.) stopped 22 of 23 in relief.
The Flying Aces take on the Fighting Saints tomorrow, Sunday, March 31st in Dubuque at 3:05 p.m. Next weekend, Central Illinois travels to Lincoln for a two-game series against the Stars on Friday, April 5th, and Saturday, April 6th. Their final home game of the season will be Saturday, April 13th against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders at 7:07 p.m.
For tickets or more information, call the Flying Aces at 309-434-2980 or visit www.flyingaceshockey.com.
ABOUT THE FLYING ACES
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.