What looked like a sure loss turned into a dramatic victory for the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Friday.
The Jacks trailed host Green Bay 2-1 in the final seconds of regulation when Matheson Iacopelli scored with 1.3 seconds left to force overtime.
Then two Lumberjacks scored during the overtime shootout, allowing Muskegon to snatch an unlikely and thrilling 3-2 victory.
The victory avenges last Saturday’s loss in Bloomington, when the Thunder scored with 2.7 seconds remaining in regulation to steal the win.
Muskegon improved to 30-18-4, good for 64 points and a third place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference standings. They have a nine-point lead for the last playoff spot with eight games left in the regular season.
Green Bay’s Nick Poehling opened the scored on a power play at the two minute mark of the first period to give the Gamblers a 1-0 lead.
The Gamblers outshot the Jacks 12-9 during the first period.
Sam Saliba scored 45 seconds into the second period to give Green Bay a 2-0 advantage.
Matej Paulovic scored on the power play for the Jacks at 15:26 of the second period to cut their deficit at 2-1. Griffen Molino and Corey Schueneman picked up the assists on the goal.
Iacopelli tied the game at 2-2 with 1.3 seconds left in the game to force overtime. Tom Marchin and Paulovic assisted on the goal.
The five minute overtime period ended in a scoreless tie, setting up for the shootout.
Juraj Mily and Molino scored in the first and third round of the shootout, respectively, to clinch the victory.
Muskegon goalie Eric Schierhorn stopped 33-of-35 Green Bay shots in regulation and overtime, and stopped both shots he faced in the overtime shootout.
The Lumberjacks outshot the Gamblers 45-35.
The two teams will meet again Saturday in Green Bay with faceoff at 8 p.m. EST.