The Jacks allowed a pair of second period goals, including a shorthanded tally, and fell 2-1 to the Fighting Saints at the Mystique Ice Arena in Dubuque, Iowa.
The two teams will square off again Saturday night at 8:25 p.m. EST.
Muskegon, which is now 5-2 on the road this season, dropped to 8-5 overall. The Lumberjacks have 16 points and are in third place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.
The first period ended in a scoreless tie, with Dubuque outshooting the Jacks 7-4.
The Fighting Saints got on the board first with a goal from Colin Theisen at the 2:57 mark of the second period.
The Lumberjacks responded about five minutes later with an unassisted goal from Colin Adams to tie the game 1-1.
Dubuque regained its lead at 2-1 with a shorthanded strike from Theisen at the 16:16 mark of the second stanza. The third period was scoreless.
The Fighting Saints outshot Muskegon by a 23-21 margin.
Dubuque’s goaltender Jaxon Castor stopped 20 shots for the victory, while Lumberjacks netminder Adam Brizgala made 22 saves.