The Muskegon Lumberjacks ended a tough weekend with a 3-1 loss to the first-place Chicago Steel on Sunday at Fox Valley Ice Arena in Illinois.

The Jacks were attempting to do something they managed to do in November – beat the mighty Steel on their home ice – and actually led for a time.

After a scoreless first period, Muskegon’s Cameron Berg scored at 1:55 of the second, with an assist from Tanner Kelly, to give the Jacks a 1-0 lead.

But Chicago pulled even less than a minute later with a goal from Erik Meddendorf. The Steel took the lead later in the second period with a shorthanded tally by Tyler Carpenter. Chicago’s Brendan Brisson scored the final goal of the game at 5:02 of the third period.

Chicago improved its record to a very impressive 37-7-1.  

The Lumberjacks dropped to 18-19-4, after losing to Madison at home on Friday, then picking up an overtime shootout win on Saturday in Madison.

“They’re good,” said Lumberjacks Coach Mike Hamilton about Chicago. “In the first period we played very well, outshot them 11-3, and came away with a 0-0 score. Their goalie made some great saves until they woke up and got going.”

Lumberjacks goalie Eric Green took the loss in net, after stopping 15 of 18 Chicago shots. Steel goalie Ian Shane got the win, stopping 27 of 28 shots.

“At the end of the day this was one of the best games we’ve played in several weeks,” Hamilton said. “The guys played really hard, and we have a few guys missing from the lineup. It was a great effort.”

The Jacks will return to action next weekend with Friday and Saturday games in Youngstown.