Pitlick scores early but Jacks fall on road for second night to Youngstown

LocalSportsJournal.com

The Muskegon Lumberjacks drive to trend in the winning direction did not go as planned on Saturday night in Youngstown.

The Lumberjacks fell to the Phantoms 5-4 and now have a three-game losing streak on their hands.

Muskegon also lost to the Phantoms on Friday night and is now 18-21-4 on the season and have dropped to sixth place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.

Six teams qualify for the postseason and Muskegon only has a one-point lead for the final playoff spot.

The Lumberjacks will look to get back to their winning ways next weekend with a pair of home games against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Both games are slated to start at 7:05 p.m.

The Lumberjacks jumped out early on Youngstown, despite the loss. Rhett Pitlick struck first for the Jacks, 1:12 into the opening period.

The Phantoms tied the game 1-1 with a goal by Garrett Dahm 4:24 into the opening stanza.

Muskegon regained its lead at 2-1 on a tally from Dylan Wendt at the 10:05 mark of the first period.

Youngstown tied the game 2-2 at the 13:33 mark of the first period on a goal from Ben Schoen.

The Phantoms then continued to pour it on offensively, scoring three unanswered second period goals to take a 5-2 advantage.

Artyom Borsshyov (4:30), Trevor Kuntar (10:48) and Schoen (13:49) each tallied goals for the Phantoms during the second period.

Muskegon pulled starting goalie Eric Green, who stopped just 13 of 18 shots in just under 34 minutes of ice time. The Lumberjack put Jack Williams into the game who stopped two shots and kept Muskegon in the game.

The Lumberjacks responded with a goal at the 18:09 mark of the middle period by Danil Gushchin, cutting the deficit to a 5-3 margin heading into the final period.

Muskegon added a goal with three seconds left in the contest on Gushchin’s second tally of the game but run out of time to score the equalizer.

The Lumberjacks will look to get back to winning next weekend with a pair of home games against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Both games are slated to start at 7:05 p.m.

Despite losing the contest, Lumberjacks coach Mike Hamilton was happy with the effort his team gave tonight.

“We competed really hard today and I really liked the energy we played with,” said Hamilton. “We need to work on our special teams and get stronger with our defense. We would have had a different result if we could have kept the puck from going into our net.”

The Lumberjacks outshot Youngstown by a 22-20 margin. Muskegon failed to score on all three of its power play chances, while the Phantoms scored one power play goal in two opportunities.

Youngstown’s goaltender Dominic Basse picked up the win in net, stopping 18 of 22 shots.

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