The Muskegon Lumberjacks opened their final road trip of the year with a much needed win that made franchise history.
The Lumberjacks opened the game with three unanswered first period goals a little over three minutes apart and held on to an important 5-2 win over the Central Illinois Flying Aces on Saturday at the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.
Muskegon set franchise records in wins with 38 and points earned in a season with 80 and improved to 38-16-4 on the season.
The Lumberjacks will continue their road trip on Friday night against the Madison Capitols. Faceoff is slated for 8:05 p.m. EST.
Muskegon can claim its first regular season Eastern Conference title on Friday with a win over the Capitols or a Cedar Rapids loss to Dubuque.
The Lumberjacks opened the scoring with two shorthanded goals one minute and 15 seconds apart to take a 2-0 advantage.
Nolan Sullivan opened the scoring at the 12:08 mark of the first period while Andrej Kollar connected 13:23 into the opening frame.
Muskegon increased its lead to 3-0 on a goal from Colby Bukes at the 15:29 mark of the first period to give the Lumberjacks the three-goal advantage after one period of play.
The Flying Aces responded with the lone goal of the second period at the 7:49 mark from Stephen Halliday to cut their deficit to 3-1 heading into the final stanza.
Both teams traded goals 50 seconds apart early in the third period.
Oliver MacDonald increased the Lumberjacks lead to 4-1 at the 49 seconds mark of the third period before Connor Mayer responded for Central Illinois with a tally at the 1:39 mark to make the score 4-2.
The Lumberjacks closed out the scoring with an empty net goal from Owen Farris at the 17:53 mark of the third period.
Muskegon outshot the Flying Aces by a 36-26 margin.
Brandon Bussi stopped 24 of 26 shots in net for the Lumberjacks to earn the victory in goal.