Lumberjacks nip Central Illinois 5-4 to capture their third victory in a row

The Muskegon Lumberjacks are starting to catch fire at the right time of the season.

Wyatt Bongiovanni’s goal with 5:59 remaining in the contest gave the Lumberjacks a 5-4 win over the Central Illinois Flying Aces on Friday night at the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington, Illinois.

The Jacks, who are battling for a playoff spot in an extremely tight USHL Eastern Conference race, have now won three games in a row.

The Lumberjacks are now 26-20-2 on the season, good for 54 points and third place in the conference. Muskegon is three points behind second-place Youngstown and just one point ahead of fourth-place Dubuque.

Muskegon opened the scoring with goals from Jachym Kondelik and Emilio Pettersen.

The Flying Aces cut their deficit to 2-1 with a goal by Jeremy Davidson at the 19:34 mark of the first period.

The Lumberjacks quickly responded with a goal at the 19:52 mark by Anthony Del Gaizo to give Muskegon a 3-1 lead after one period.

The teams exchanged goals six second apart during the second period.

Central Illinois cut the Lumberjacks’ lead to 3-2 with a goal from Brady Meyer. Muskegon’s Matej Pekar quickly responded with a goal to help the Lumberjacks take a 4-2 lead into the second break.

The Flying Aces tied the game 4-4 with a pair of goals from Alex Barber at the 3:30 and 6:54 marks of the third period.

But the Lumberjacks gained their final advantage with Bongiovanni’s goal 14:01 into the third period.

Muskegon outshot the Flying Aces by a 35-24 margin. Lumberjacks goalie Keegan Karki got the win after stopping 20 of 24 Central Illinois shots.

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