MUSKEGON, MI- In his first-ever USHL playoff start, Muskegon Lumberjacks goaltender Adam Brizgala stymied 33 Dubuque Fighting Saint shots, helping his team force game four with a 3-0 win.
Scheduled for Friday night at 7:15pm, game four will again be of the win-or-go-home variety at LC Walker Arena.
Collin Adams notched the game-winning goal and an assist, and now has three goals and four points on the series, leading all skaters.
Coaching his first USHL playoff series, John LaFontaine made the tough call to switch his netminder after Keith Petruzzelli, who broke the Jacks' single-season goals against average record this year (2.40), lost games one and two. Brizgala and Petruzzelli have been a strong tandem all season, and Brizgala showed why his coach had faith in him.
Marc Del Gaizo potted his first goal in the USHL playoffs, netting one on the power play early in the second to make the score 2-0. The power play went 1-for-4 on the night, and the penalty kill stifled Dubuque's normally-potent power play seven times.
With a two goal lead and less than 4:30 to play, Dubuque head coach Jason Lammers elected to pull his netminder Jaxon Castor, and Muskegon capitalized on that, with a Ty Farmer empty-net goal that sealed the game at the 16:35 mark of the third.
Castor was remarkable in the loss, stopping 31 of 33 shots.
Dubuque's series lead is now trimmed to 2-1, and the Jacks will look to force game five with a win Friday night at home. Matt Steeves will return from his one-game suspension, bolstering a short stable of forwards at LaFontaine's disposal.