BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Central Illinois Flying Aces were downed, 5 to 0, by the Eastern Conference-leading Muskegon Lumberjacks this morning during their Education Day game.
The Lumberjacks scored the two first period goals. Their first came 11:06 into the game on the power play. Shortly after entering the zone, Egor Afanasyev wristed the puck lower blocker side to strike first. Muskegon’s second of the period came from Jagger Joshua at 12:29 in the first. After a face-off win, Joshua received the puck down low, drove the net, and tucked the puck around the goaltender for a two-goal lead.
Neither team scored in the second period, but the pace of the game picked up with Central Illinois controlling the second period shots with nineteen compared to Muskegon’s eleven.
Forty-one seconds into the third period, Max Ellis received a pass in the slot and one-timed the puck for the Lumberjacks third goal of the game. Muskegon finished up with two more goals in the third. Afanasyev got his second of the night at 6:18 in the third after he stationed himself at the right of the crease and quickly put in a puck after a behind the net pass. Bobby Lynch scored top-shelf over the glove at 11:21.
Central Illinois got on the board sixteen minutes into the third period. Tyler Gratton (Pottstown, Penn.) drove the net. Ryan Siedem (Madison, NJ) found the loose rebound and passed back to Gratton. Gratton sauced a pass past a Muskegon defender to Bradley Marek (Big Rapids, Mich.) alone in the slot. Marek scored his seventh of the season for a final score of 5 to 1.
Central Illinois travels to Green Bay to face the Gamblers on Saturday, February 23rd at 7 p.m. They return home the following day to host the Youngstown Phantoms for Superhero Sunday Funday. Following that game, the Flying Aces host the U.S. National Team Development Program U18s on Wednesday, February 27th 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.