YOUNGSTOWN – The Muskegon Lumberjacks could have easily lost out on earning two important points in the standings in the opening game on Friday night on a three-game road series in Youngstown.

The Jacks trailed by three goals with just 15 minutes remaining in the contest.

Muskegon rallied, scored three late unanswered goals, including the game-tying goal from Justin Solovey with 30 seconds left to force overtime.

The contest needed a shootout to determine a winner and Ethan Whitcomb scored in the fourth, and final, round to complete the comeback win 6-5 over the Youngstown Phantoms at the Covelli Centre in Ohio.

Muskegon’s Sacha Boisvert scored in the shootout for the Lumberjacks while Grant Young got a goal to force a fourth round.

Whitcomb’s shootout goal gave Muskegon the advantage before Lumberjacks goaltender Miles Robert stopped Youngstown’s Sascha Boumedienne to end the game.

The Lumberjacks are now 30-17-2, good for 62 points and third place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference. Muskegon is one-point behind second-place Green Bay and two points ahead of fourth-place Youngstown with 13 games remaining.

The Lumberjacks will play Youngstown Saturday night in the middle game of the three-game set. Faceoff is slated for 7:05 p.m.

The Phantoms led 2-0 after the opening period with goals from Nathan Lewis at the 1:15 mark and Zach Morin 8:19 into the first.

Grant Young increased the Phantoms lead to 3-0 6:07 into the second period.

Muskegon finally responded with a goal at the 10:20 mark of the second from Whitcomb.

Youngstown closed out the second-period scoring 12:59 in from Ryan Botterill and led 4-1.

Cameron Aucoin scored his first goal of the season to cut the Jacks’ deficit to 4-2 on the early minutes of the final period.

Lewis gave back Youngstown its three-goal advantage with his second goal of the night at 3:05.

The Jacks mounted a little comeback with goals from Matvei Gridin (6:45) and Ty Henricks (13:26) to cut their deficit to 5-4.

Muskegon scored the game-tying goal with 30 seconds remaining from Solovey to force an overtime period.

Both teams failed to score during the five-minute extra period, leading to a three-round shootout.

The Jacks outscored Youngstown 2-1 during the shootout period that ended in the fourth round.