Friday, October 21, 2011

Lumberjacks tweak goalie corps

With their home opener a day away, the Muskegon Lumberjacks added what could be an important piece to their 2011-12 puzzle.

The Jacks acquired three-year USHL veteran goaltender John Keeney from the Omaha Lancers in a trade. Muskegon sent its third-round selection in the 2013 USHL Entry Draft to Omaha, along with a player to be named later.

Keeney, 18, is one of the most experienced netminders in the league, with 45 games under his belt in parts of three seasons. He made his debut during the 2009-10 season and suited up in 30 contests for the Lancers last year.

The 6-foot-1, 187-pounder from Twin Peaks, Calif., made the most of the increased playing time last season, going 15-9-3 with a 2.23 goals-against average – fifth-best in the USHL – and a .918 save percentage that ranked eighth.

“John has put up excellent numbers during his time in the league,” Lumberjacks head coach-GM Kevin Patrick said. “He is one of the more veteran goalies in the USHL.”

Thus far this season, Keeney has played in two games, stopping 54 of 58 shots while posting a 1-1-0 record. He will join returner Paul Berrafato in Muskegon’s goaltending stable, as rookie Blake Voth was released in a corresponding transaction.

“We are constantly evaluating our needs to put our team in the best position possible,” Patrick said. “We felt we needed to solidify the goalie position in order to be successful.”

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