The Muskegon Lumberjacks need points in the standings down the stretch if they are going to punch their ticket to the 2015 Clark Cup playoffs.
It will be a challenge for the Lumberjacks, who play 15 of their last 20 regular season games on the road.
But they got off to a good start Friday, overcoming a two goal deficit to defeat the Waterloo Black Hawks 3-2 in an overtime shootout at the Waterloo Young Arena.
The Lumberjacks are now 25-13-3, good for 53 points and second place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.
Waterloo’s John Wiitala opened the scoring at 6:44 of the first period to give the Black Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The Black Hawks’ Henrik Rommel scored a shorthanded goal at 14:28 of the first period to put the hosts up 2-0.
Waterloo outshot the Jacks 14-5 in the first period.
Muskegon’s Mark Petaccio cut the deficit to 2-1 at 14:40 of the second period. Tom Marchin and Christian Wolanin assisted on the goal.
Petaccio tied the game at 2-2 with his second goal of the night with 1:47 left in regulation. Adrian Sloboda had the lone assist on the goal.
Muskegon outshot the Black Hawks 33-29 during regulation.
The five minute overtime period was scoreless.
Juraj Mily iced the victory for the Lumberjacks by scoring the only goal during the shootout.
The Lumberjacks will travel to Bloomington for a pair of games on Saturday night and Monday afternoon. Saturday’s game will be an 8:00 p.m. faceoff.