The Muskegon Lumberjacks began a four-game road trip on Wednesday desperately needing points in the standings to get back into playoff contention.LSJ Logo incert

They got off to a good start in that respect, beating the Madison Capitols 4-3 in an overtime shootout contest.

The Lumberjacks lost a third-period lead and were less than a minute away from losing. But Muskegon’s Grant Gabriele scored with only 36 seconds remaining in regulation, forcing the game into overtime.

After a scoreless overtime period, the Jacks outscored the Capitols 2-0 in the shootout to claim the victory.

The Lumberjacks are now 16-17-4 on the season, good for 36 points and last place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference. They are 13 points behind Youngstown for the final playoff spot.

Gabriele led the Lumberjacks with two goals, while USHL leading scorer Rem Pitlick added his 27th goal of the season.

Muskegon outshot the Capitols 51-31 and scored two power play goals on three attempts.

The Lumberjacks opened the scoring with a power play goal from Pitlick at the 2:57 mark of the first period. Collin Adams picked up the lone assist on the goal.

The Capitols tied the game 1-1 with a power play goal from Tyson McLellan at 9:30 of the second period.

Gabriele gave the Lumberjacks the lead back with a power play goal at 17:01 of the second period. Pitlick and Matej Paulovic assisted on the tally.

The Capitols responded with two early third period goals – from Dmitri Buinitsky and Daniel Willett – to take their first lead of the night.

Gabriele tied the game with his second goal late in the third period. Adams and Paulovic picked up the shootout goals for the Jacks.

Muskegon goaltender Joey Daccord picked up the win, stopping 28 of 31 shots.

The Lumberjacks will continue their road trip with games against the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Friday and Saturday night.