The Muskegon Lumberjacks are starting to catch fire at the right time of the season.
Wyatt Bongiovanni’s goal with 5:59 remaining in the contest gave the Lumberjacks a 5-4 win over the Central Illinois Flying Aces on Friday night at the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington, Illinois.
The Jacks, who are battling for a playoff spot in an extremely tight USHL Eastern Conference race, have now won three games in a row.
The Lumberjacks are now 26-20-2 on the season, good for 54 points and third place in the conference. Muskegon is three points behind second-place Youngstown and just one point ahead of fourth-place Dubuque.
Muskegon opened the scoring with goals from Jachym Kondelik and Emilio Pettersen.
The Flying Aces cut their deficit to 2-1 with a goal by Jeremy Davidson at the 19:34 mark of the first period.
The Lumberjacks quickly responded with a goal at the 19:52 mark by Anthony Del Gaizo to give Muskegon a 3-1 lead after one period.
The teams exchanged goals six second apart during the second period.
Central Illinois cut the Lumberjacks’ lead to 3-2 with a goal from Brady Meyer. Muskegon’s Matej Pekar quickly responded with a goal to help the Lumberjacks take a 4-2 lead into the second break.
The Flying Aces tied the game 4-4 with a pair of goals from Alex Barber at the 3:30 and 6:54 marks of the third period.
But the Lumberjacks gained their final advantage with Bongiovanni’s goal 14:01 into the third period.
Muskegon outshot the Flying Aces by a 35-24 margin. Lumberjacks goalie Keegan Karki got the win after stopping 20 of 24 Central Illinois shots.