The Lumberjacks are now 18-20-4 on the season, good for 40 points and a fifth-place tie in the USHL’s Eastern Conference. Muskegon will look to bounce back on Saturday in a rematch against the Phantoms in Youngstown. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m.
“It wasn’t a good game for us tonight,” said Lumberjacks coach Mike Hamilton. “We should have played like it was a playoff atmosphere and we didn’t, which makes this a disappointing loss. We need to do better tomorrow.”
The Phantoms opened the scoring with a goal from Youngstown’s Matthew Cassidy 4:56 into the opening period.
Youngstown increased its advantage to 2-0 at the 7:25 mark of the second period on a tally by Jan Kern.
Cameron Berg scored for the Lumberjacks at 10:27 of the second period, cutting Muskegon’s deficit to 2-1.
The Phantoms closed out the scoring with a shorthanded goal by Ben Schoen with 33 seconds left in the contest. The Lumberjacks had pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker, and had a 6-to-4 skater advantage when Youngstown netted the deciding goal.
The Lumberjacks outshot Youngstown by a 20-17 margin. Muskegon failed to score on four power play opportunities, while the Phantoms were 0-for-3 with a man advantage.
Jack Williams suffered the loss in net for the Lumberjacks, stopping 14 of 16. Youngstown goaltender Dominic Basse stopped 19 of 20 shots.