There are tough third periods and there are the final 20 minutes the Muskegon Lumberjacks had in their 6-3 loss in Madison on Friday night.
Muskegon held a 3-2 advantage after Ben Strinden scored his second goal of the game and fourth of the season early on in the third period.
The Jacks held that lead with under 10 minutes to play, but then Madison’s offense unloaded.
First it was a Quinn Hudson holding penalty that led to a power play goal by Madison’s Jack Horbach that tied the score 3-3 midway through the period.
Then Jake Dunlap scored back-to-back goals, 13 seconds apart, giving Madision a 5-3 lead.
Madison’s Nathan Lewis put in the fourth goal of the period three minutes later and Muskegon was finished.
“We can’t put ourselves in those spots,” said Muskegon Coach Mike Hamilton. “It was a good effort but we lost our composure and self-discipline.”
Despite the loss, Muskegon played a solid game and had all the momentum for its first win on the road this season.
The Lumberjacks struck first in the contest, similar to what it did at home last Saturday. Strinden found the back of the net on an unassisted play.
Then Montreal Canadiens prospect Emil Jarventie gave Muskegon a 2-1 lead four minutes after Madison’s opening goal. It was the Finland-born forward’s first tally with the Lumberjacks.
Hamilton was not too dismayed by the third period and was encouraged by his team’s effort.
“It was a good start, we played a really good hockey game,” Hamilton said. “Strinden gave us a one goal lead with 10 minutes to play, but it was a disappointing ending to an otherwise great night.”
Jan Skorpik took the loss in goal for Muskegon, stopping 16 shots. Muskegon was outshot by Madison 25-22.
Penalties hurt the Jacks as well, giving up eight on the night against Madison’s six. Two of the infractions led to Madison power play goals.