Kondelik scores hat trick, including OT winner, in Jacks’ 6-5 win over Central Illinois

LocalSportsJournal.com

Jachym Kondelik and the Muskegon Lumberjacks are obviously determined to secure home-ice advantage in the first round of the USHL playoffs.

Kondelik scored two goals in the third period, then the game-winner in overtime, to give the Lumberjacks an important 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Central Illinois in Bloomington, Illinois on Friday.

The win kept the Lumberjacks (31-24-12) in third place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference, one point ahead of fourth-place Green Bay and two points ahead of Dubuque.

If the Jacks finish third or fourth, they will host a best-of-three first-round playoff series, with the entire series at home. If they fall to fifth, they would play on the road throughout the first round.

Muskegon qualified for the playoffs last weekend when seventh-place Cedar Rapids lost in overtime.

The Jacks have three games left in the regular season – Saturday night in Madison, next Friday on the road against Team USA, and next Saturday in Youngstown.

The Lumberjacks came from way behind to steal the win on Friday. They trailed 3-0 midway through the first period, 3-1 at the end of the first, 4-1 early in the second period, and 4-3 after two.

Then Kondelik got hot in the third period, scoring goals, at the 3:45 and 13-minute mark, to give the Lumberjacks a 5-4 lead. Central Illionois’s Joey Davidson then scored his second goal of the game with about 3 ½ minutes left in regulation, sending the contest to overtime.

Kondelik put the finishing touches on his hat track by scoring the game winner just over three minutes into overtime. It was his 16th goal of the season.

Emilio Pettersen, Alexander Yakovanko and Matej Pekar scored the other Lumberjack goals. Colby Bukes, Mikael Hakkarainen  and Vincent de Mey all had three assists.

Zach Borgiel got the victory in goal for Muskegon.

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