Lumberjacks lose two-goal lead, fall to Youngstown 4-3 in overtime

LocalSportsJournal.com

The Muskegon Lumberjacks were close to winning their first Anderson Cup, which is awarded to the USHL’s best team.

But the Lumberjacks were officially eliminated from the race with just three games to go, which included two against the first place Chicago Steel.

Muskegon, which needed to finish the last four games with victories, fell to the Youngstown Phantoms 4-3 in overtime on Saturday from the Covelli Center in Ohio.

The Lumberjacks are now 33-14-4 on the season, good for 70 points and second place in the Eastern Conference. Muskegon currently has a nine-point lead over third place Green Bay for home ice advantage in the first round of the Clark Cup playoffs.

But the league determined the seeding will be based on winning percentage, forcing the Lumberjacks to earn three points in the standings if Green Bay wins the final three games of the season.

The Lumberjacks will travel to Dubuque on Thursday before closing out the season with a pair of games against Chicago on Friday and Saturday.

Both teams failed to score a goal during the opening period with the Lumberjacks outshooting Youngstown by an 11-8 margin.

Muskegon opened the scoring 12 seconds into the second period on a goal from Tanner Kelly.

The Phantoms tied the game 1-1 at the 12:10 mark of the second period on a goal by Winter Wallace.

The Lumberjacks regained their advantage at 2-1 with a goal by Cristophe Tellier at the 18:43 mark of the second period.

Muskegon increased the lead to 3-1 with a Danil Gushchin tally 51 seconds into the third period.

The Phantoms forced overtime, scoring goals at the 2:40 and 15:39 marks of the third stanza by Sergel Kuznetsov and Jaden Grant, respectively.

Youngstown completed the comeback win 3:46 into the extra period on a goal by Jack Malone.

The Lumberjacks outshot Youngstown by a 37-29 margin.

Muskegon goaltender Jan Skorpik stopped 25 of 29 Phantom shots on goal.

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