The Muskegon Lumberjacks built a two-goal lead in their season opener Saturday night, lost it in the third period, then regrouped to claim a thrilling 3-2 overtime shootout victory over the host Waterloo Black Hawks.
“We played an excellent first period and struggled in the latter two periods, but we found a way to win,” said Lumberjacks Coach Todd Krygier.
The Lumberjacks jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with an unassisted goal from Dominick Sacco at 5:59 of the first period.
Jacob Coleman scored with 25 seconds left in the second period to give Muskegon a 2-0 lead. Robbie DeMontis picked up the lone assist on the goal.
The Black Hawks scored a pair of goals in the third period to tie the game at 2-2 at the end of regulation.
Ben Newhouse cut Waterloo’s deficit to 2-1 at the 8:25 mark of the third period, while Shane Bowers tied the game at 12:13 of the third.
Waterloo outshot the Jacks 29-22 in regulation.
The game remained deadlocked after seven minutes of four-on-four and three-on-three overtime hockey.
That forced a shootout, and both teams remained scoreless after four rounds.
Vance led off the fifth round with his goal before Lumberjack goaltender Joey Daccord stopped a Brandon Schultz shot to earn the victory.
Daccord stopped 28 of the 30 Black Hawk shots in regulation and the overtime period.
“Daccord played fantastic the whole game,” Krygier said. “He really shut the door for us, especially in the shootout.”
The Lumberjacks will head home for their opener on Saturday Oct. 3 against the Team USA Under-17 squad.