But the Dubuque Fighting Saints also won their final game, 3-2 over Cedar Rapids, to gain the home-ice advantage over Muskegon.
The Lumberjacks and Fighting Saints, who finished tied for second place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference, will meet in a best 3 of 5 playoff series beginning next weekend in Dubuque.
The Fighting Saints will host the first two games, and a fifth game if necessary, because they won the tie-breaker by having more regulation and overtime wins than the Lumberjacks.
Muskegon ended the regular season with a franchise best 37-18-5 record, which was good for 79 points in the standings. The Jacks and Dubuque finished just two points behind first-place Chicago.
Muskegon took a 1-0 lead after one period on Saturday on a goal from Ty Farmer at the 12:18 mark of the first period.
The Lumberjacks increased their advantage to 3-0 with goals by Matt Steeves (4:44) and Koby Bender (16:47) in the second period.
Casey Gilling bumped Muskegon’s lead to 4-0 at the 1:14 mark of the third period, then Collin Adams connected about five minutes later to give the Lumberjacks 5-0 advantage.
The Thunder broke the shutout bid 11:47 into the third period on a goal by Walker Duehr, then closed the scoring with a goal from Calen Kiefiuk at the 14:55 mark.
The Thunder outshot Muskegon by a 42-21 margin.
Adam Brizgala picked up the win in goal for the Lumberjacks, stopping 40 of 42 Bloomington shots.