The Muskegon Lumberjacks had more than their share of scoring opportunities on Thursday night, but could not capitalize.
Rhett Pitlick scored his seventh goal of the season but that was all the highlights Muskegon could gather on the night.
The Green Bay Gamblers did capitalize, scoring twice in the third period to hand the Jacks a 3-1 loss at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The defeat ended a hot streak for the Lumberjacks, who were 3-0-1 in their previous four games, claiming seven of eight possible points in the standings.
The Jacks, now 12-15-3 on the season, remain in sixth place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference, but only trail fifth-place Youngstown by one point in the standings and fourth-place Green Bay by three points.
The Lumberjacks will complete their five-game road trip with matchups on Friday and Saturday night against the Madison Capitols in Wisconsin. They will return home for a pair of home games against Cedar Rapids on Jan. 17-18.
The Gamblers won the game on Thursday because they won the special teams battle. They scored on two of their three power play opportunities, while the Lumberjacks were 0-for-5 with a man advantage.
Green Bay was also more opportunistic with the game on the line, breaking a tie with two third-period goals, despite being outshot 16-7 in the final frame.
“Our power play struggled tonight, and we are not going to win many games not scoring when you have five chances with a man advantage,” said Muskegon Coach Mike Hamilton. “I thought we gave ourselves a chance, but at the end of the day we took a bad penalty and they took advantage. It wasn’t a great day, and I was not too happy with the overall effort.”
The first period was scoreless. The Lumberjacks drew first blood when Pitlick scored, his 20th point of the season, at the 2:24 mark of the second period, with an assist from Danil Gushchin, but that’s all Muskegon could muster.
Green Bay’s Camden Thiesing tied the score 1-1 with a power play goal at 15:57 of the second period. Thiesing added the game winner on another power play goal at 6:52 of the third, then Mason Lohre capped things off with a tally at 10:25 of the final period.
Both teams had 34 shots on goal. Green Bay goalie Nicholas Grabko got the win while Eric Green took the loss for Muskegon.