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Junior Notebook: Bussi Backstops Muskegon to Best Record in USHL

By Tom Robinson, 10/10/18, 12:45PM MDT


Netminder has been rock-solid for 4-0 Lumberjacks

Brandon Bussi's play in goal is one of the big reasons the Muskegon Lumberjacks are off to a 4-0 start in the United States Hockey League.              

The Lumberjacks lead the Eastern Conference and join the Western Conference-leading Tri-City Storm (3-0) as the only teams that still have perfect records.

Bussi played all four games in goal for Muskegon, including a big effort in a weekend road sweep of the Youngstown Phantoms.

The Sound Beach, New York, native and St. Lawrence University commit made 31 saves in Friday's 2-1 overtime victory, then followed that effort up with a 33-save shutout in a 3-0 win the next night.

Bussi is in his first USHL season after playing the last two in the North American Hockey League with the Amarillo Bulls and New Jersey Titans. He participated in USA Hockey’s National Boys Player Development Camps in 2015 and 2016.

The 20-year-old is fifth in the league so far with a .940 save percentage and sixth in goals against average at 1.72.

USHL ROUNDUP: Ben Meyers scored his first goal Friday in a 3-1 win over Sioux Falls, then added two more Saturday in a 5-4 loss to the Stampede, giving the Fargo Force forward points in all four games and placing him in a tie for second in the league with seven points.

Matt Brown followed up a hat trick on the opening weekend by scoring goals in his next two games. He has five goals and four assists to lead the USHL and help the Des Moines Buccaneers to a 3-1 start.

The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders have allowed just six goals in a 3-0-1-0 start and join USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (3-0-0-1) at one point behind Muskegon in the Eastern Conference.

PHILLY PRIDE: The Eastern Hockey League and its Southern Division are led by the EHL's three Philadelphia teams, which have combined to win 23 of 25 games.

The Philadelphia Little Flyers are 9-0, including a 6-3 win over the third-place Philadelphia Revolution Sept. 27, so Philly teams are actually 22-1 against the rest of the league by a combined 124-36 scoring margin.

The Philadelphia Junior Flyers are 7-0.

The Little Flyers went on the road Monday for a 5-1 victory over the North Carolina Golden Bears.

Mikey Giampapa has a league-high 12 goals, including two game-winners and two short-handed goals, for the Little Flyers.

Samir Abouelhana from the Revolution leads the EHL with 22 points. Teammate Jake Russo leads the league with 17 assists.

The Junior Flyers have been winning with defense, allowing just eight goals in seven games.

CAPPING SWEEPS: Hat tricks played a big role in North American 3 Hockey League teams completing weekend sweeps with Sunday wins.

James Wilson and Connor Barter each had hat tricks for the New England Stars who routed the Cape Cod Islanders, 16-0.

Joey Gallo's third goal was the game-winner for the Oswego Stampede in a 5-4 triumph over the Maine Wild.

Marcus Cook had a hat trick for the Binghamton Junior Senators in their 8-3 victory over the Northeast Generals.

The Skylands Kings topped the Niagara Falls Powerhawks, 7-1, with the help of Dylan Saccone's three goals.

RIGHT AT HOME: Goalie Gavin Enright led the North American Hockey League Midwest Division-leading Kenai River Brown Bears to a sweep of two games in their first weekend at home.

Enright stopped 15 shots in the first period and finished with 28 in a 4-0 shutout of the Chippewa Steel Friday night. He finished the weekend with 48 saves in 50 shots after helping the Brown Bears complete the sweep Saturday, 3-2.

ONE-TIMERS: Mason Klee, a defenseman with the USHL's Lincoln Stars, has committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The 19-year-old from Morrison, Colorado, was a second-team USHL All-Rookie choice last season. His father, Ken, played nearly 1,000 NHL games and represented Team USA in international competition on multiple occasions as both a player and coach  ... The Amarillo Bulls still have the NAHL's best record at 7-1-0-0. ... Aberdeen Wings forward Joey Strada had two goals and two assists in a 6-2 NAHL win over the Brookings Blizzard Friday ... There were five shutouts in the NAHL Saturday night.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Photo courtesy of Hickling Images.

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