The Muskegon Lumberjacks strong start has resulted in a solid lead in the Eastern Conference standings.
But the Lumberjacks entered the weekend trailing by one-point for first place in the overall standings of the United States Hockey League to the Tri-City Storm.
Muskegon jumped out the big lead and held on to leap frog the Strom on Friday with a 3-2 win at the Viaero Center in Kearney, Nebraska.
Both teams will play in a rematch contest on Saturday night. Faceoff is slated for 8:05 EST.
The Lumberjacks are now 26-7-1 on the season, good for 53 points and first place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference. Muskegon has a 12-point lead over the Chicago Steel in the East and a 1-point advantage on the Strom in the league.
Cam McDonald opened the scoring for Muskegon with a goal at the 9:32 mark of the first period to give the Lumberjacks a 1-0 lead.
Muskegon increased its advantage to 3-0 after the second period with goals from Alex Gaffney (3:43) and Alex Yakovenko (19:13).
Tri-City stormed back with a goal from Brendan Budy at the 11:52 mark of the third period and Connor McMenamin 18:35 into the final stanza.
The Storm pulled their goalie for an extra attacker to try to score the equalizer but failed to complete a comeback to force overtime.
Muskegon goaltender Brandon Bussi stopped 29 of 31 Storm shots.
Tri-City outshot the Lumberjacks by a 31-23 margin.