The Muskegon Lumberjacks ended their four-game losing streak on Friday, and it came against the top team in the United States Hockey League.
The Jacks broke open a tied game with two goals in the third period, and skated away with an exciting 6-4 victory over the first-place Chicago Steel at Fox Valley Ice Center in Geneva, Illinois.
The win brings the Lumberjacks back to the .500 mark on the season at 9-9-1. Chicago fell to 14-4-1. The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, with puck drop set for 7:05 p.m.
“It felt good to snap the losing streak,” said Lumberjacks coach Mike Hamilton. “I thought the boys played hard tonight, and just like the other night they brought a lot of speed and offense.”
The top producer for Muskegon was forward Cameron Berg, who scored two goals. He now has four goals in two games since coming to the Lumberjacks in a trade with Omaha last week.
“He is a good skating power forward,” Hamilton said. “He was a tender pick last season and he is taking advantage of a good opportunity given to him here.”
The Jacks made the most of a lot of their opportunities against Chicago, pulling out the win despite being outshot 41-24.
The Lumberjacks led 2-1 after the first period on goals by Berg and Alex Gaffney. Matt Coronato scored for the Steel.
Arten Schlaine scored for Muskegon early in the second period, putting the Jacks up 3-1. But Chicago scored three of the final four goals in the second, on tallies by Sean Farrell, Coronato and Mackie Samoskevich. Berg also scored his second goal of the game, and the teams skated off in a 4-4 tie at the second break.
Dylan Gratton scored the winning goal for the Lumberjacks at the 1:11 mark of the third period. Jack Williams added an insurance goal with an empty-netter with 10 seconds left in the game.
Berg, Gaffney, Grant Doctor, Rhett Pitlick, Dylan Wendt, Christophe Fillion and AJ Hodges had assists for Muskegon. Lumberjacks goalie Jack Williams (not the forward who scored the last goal) got the win, stopping 37 of 41 shots.