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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Muskegon main camp opens today

The slate of outstanding skaters who will vie for a spot on the Muskegon Lumberjacks’ 2011-12 roster has been set.

The United States Hockey League team’s main camp opens today and, in addition to returning players and Jacks draft selections, a group of hand-picked players who took part in invite camp earlier this week will have a shot at wearing the Jacks’ crest this fall.

After three games each day wrapping up Saturday morning, the Jacks’ brass will deliberate and choose the players who will take part in two All-Star games, after which they will determine the team’s roster for the upcoming USHL season. Both All-Star games are free and open to the public, and concessions will be available throughout. The first game is 8 p.m. Saturday, and the second contest is 10 a.m. Sunday morning. Parking is free during both games

Twenty-eight players made their way through the Invite portion of camp and were selected to compete for a roster spot over the next four days.

“We had some very difficult decisions,” said Lumberjacks head coach Kevin Patrick, “and the competition is going to be excellent over the next few days. The bar was set high last year, and it’s been pushed much higher during this year’s camp.”

Thirteen members of the Jacks’ 2010-11 team will vie to return to the club this fall. Forwards Matt DeBlouw, Isaac Kohls, Jordan Masters, Christian Kraus, Max Shuart, Casey Thrush, Michael Moran and Travis Belohrad are all back at the friendly confines. The same goes for defensemen Travis Walsh, Carter Foguth and Mark Yanis and goaltenders Joel Vienneau and Paul Berrafato.

All but one of the Jacks selections in the 2011 Futures and Entry drafts will be battling for a spot, as well as many of the team’s 2010 selections who refined their skills elsewhere last season.

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