MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Lumberjacks open the 2019-20 season at the L.C. Walker Arena Saturday, Oct. 12.

And the new season begins with the team holding the title of reigning United States Hockey League (USHL) Organization of the Year.

The award was announced this summer in Vancouver at the USHL's annual meetings during the NHL draft.

"It was a great surprise," said Mike McCall, Muskegon Lumberjacks President.

McCall says the credit goes to the commitment and success from team owners Dan Israel and Bob Kaiser down to the entire team of staff, coaches, and players.

"[There was] a lot of hard work from a lot of people last season," he said. "If you don't win on the ice you're not going to get an organization of the year."

The USHL selected the Lumberjacks in part because nearly 90,000 fans that attended a Lumberjack game last season. It's a new team attendance record and was fifth-best in the USHL last year.

On the ice, the Lumberjacks set records for wins, points, goals (228) and finished first in the Eastern Conference.

"Our mission is to be the best on and off the ice and there's not one person who works for our group that isn't pointed toward that," McCall said.

The new season of hockey at the L.C. Walker Arena includes new entertainment experiences and concession items for fans to enjoy.

It's the first time since joining the USHL nine years ago the Lumberjacks have been named Organization of the Year.

The 2018-19 season started with a team-record eight-game winning streak.

Muskegon was named Organization of the Year through a voting process that involved all 17 USHL teams.

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