The Muskegon Lumberjacks closed out the 2017 calendar year on a hot streak.
Muskegon is now 12-11-2 on the season, good for 26 points and fifth place tied with Cedar Rapids in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.
The Lumberjacks will look to win their franchise record seventh straight game on Friday night when they travel to face the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Faceoff is slated for 8:35 p.m. EST.
Muskegon was paced by Emilio Petterson with a three-goal hat trick while Colby Bukes chipped in with a goal and an assist.
Goaltender Keegan Karki stopped 20 of 23 shots in Muskegon’s net in his 10th straight contest in goal.
The Lumberjacks opened the scoring with a pair of goals from Benito Posa at the 10:39 mark and Egor Afanasyev 14:42 into the opening stanza to give Muskegon a 2-0 advantage at the first intermission.
Muskegon quickly increased its lead to 3-0 on a Pettersen goal 15 seconds into the second period.
The Steel responded with a power play at the 1:57 mark of the second period by Jack Dugan to make the score 3-1.
Chicago cut its deficit to 3-2 on a goal from Baker Shore 10:19 into the second stanza.
The Lumberjacks regained their two-goal lead at 4-2 at the 18:31 mark of the second period on a power play goal from Bukes.
The Steel cut their deficit to 4-3 at the 3:22 mark of the third period with a power play tally by Aaro Vidgren.
Muskegon closed out the scoring with a pair of empty net goals from Petterson at the 18:39 and 19:12 mark of the final stanza to complete the three-goal hat trick.