MUSKEGON, Mich. – The Central Illinois Flying Aces can’t knock off the Eastern Conference leading, Muskegon Lumberjacks, losing 5 to 2.
Despite the loss, Central Illinois demonstrated strong special teams play in the game scoring on two of three power play opportunities and stopping the three power play opportunities for Muskegon only allowing a goal on a delayed call.
The Lumberjacks scored first on a delayed penalty call at 11:34 in the first. Alex Gaffney pushed the puck to the back of the net after a mad scramble in front of the net.
Alex Yakovenko scored the second of the night for Muskegon when he drove the net and scored top shelf at 3:38 in the second.
Central Illinois got on the board in the second at 12:44 on the power play. Tyler Gratton (Pottstown, Penn.) passed to Colby Enns (Minot, ND) at the point. Enns passed over to Connor Mayer (Champlin, Minn.) at the left circle. Mayer wristed the puck past several bodies in front and into the back of the net for his first with Central Illinois.
The Flying Aces tallied another on the power play at 16:46 in the second in a similar manner to the first. Cal Kiefiuk (Macomb, Mich.) passed to Ryan Siedem (Madison, NJ) who was set up at the point. Siedem fed Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) who one-timed the puck from the Ovi spot for a time game. With the assist, Kiefiuk moved to first place on the all-time assists list for Central Illinois, which is his second night in a row breaking Central Illinois records.
Ryan Savage broke the tie in favor of Muskegon at 3:58 in the third when he scored off a rebound. Max Ellis scored for the Lumberjacks at 13:18 in the third to make it 4 to 2. Egor Afanasyev iced the game with an empty net goal at 18:05 in the third.
The Flying Aces have finally concluded their stretch of ten of eleven on the road. They return home next weekend for a two-game slate against the Tri-City Storm on Friday, February 15th for Special Olympics Night and Saturday, February 16th for Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by OSF HealthCare.
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.