Lumberjacks win fifth straight, top Youngstown Phantoms 2-1 in shootout

LocalSportsJournal.com

It took a while for the Muskegon Lumberjacks to get on the board on Saturday night.

But the Lumberjacks finally ended their scoring drought past the halfway point of the third period to tie the game and force overtime.

After a goalless overtime period Muskegon scored a pair of goals in the shootout to propel the Lumberjacks to a 2-1 win over the Youngstown Phantoms at the Coveli Centre in Ohio.

The Lumberjacks suddenly have a five-game winning streak after dropping their previous five games. They are now 21-11-3 on the season, good for 45 points and second place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.

Muskegon is six points behind the first place Chicago Steel, which it will host next weekend on Friday and Saturday from the Mercy Health Arena. Both games are slated for 7:10 p.m. faceoffs.

The Lumberjacks will look to get closer to the top of the standings with 19 games remaining in the regular season. 

Youngstown opened the scoring at the 4:39 mark of the first period on a goal from Georgil Merkulov to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead.

The Phantoms led 1-0 after the first period and had a slight 8-7 advantage in shots on goal.

Muskegon came out strong during the second period, outshooting the Phantoms by an 18-5 margin. But the Lumberjacks failed to put the puck in the net keeping the score at a 1-0 deficit heading into the third period.

The Lumberjacks finally broke the shut out at the 11:54 mark of the third period on a goal from Quinn Hutson. Tanner Kelly and Jacob Guevin each notched assists on the tally.

The game went into a five-minute overtime period and then a four-round shootout stanza.

Kelly opened the shootout for the Lumberjacks with a goal in the first round, then Youngstown tied it in the second round on a goal from Jack Malone.

The shootout went into a fourth round where Nick Portz scored the for the Lumberjacks, giving them a 2-1 advantage in the shootout.

The Lumberjacks outshot Youngstown by a 38-23 margin.

Nick Reid picked up the win in net for Muskegon, stopping 22-of-23 shots on net.

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