MUSKEGON, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks got 32 saves from goaltender Nate Reid, including 13 in the third period, and fended off a late push by the Youngstown Phantoms to win 3-1 Friday night.
Muskegon’s win gives the Jacks a sweep over Youngstown, and pushes Muskegon within five points of first place.
The Jacks fell behind for the second-straight night, but again battled back to tie and eventually take the lead. Tanner Kelly kicked the offense into gear, scoring his 13th goal of the season with 13:02 to play in the second period, tying the game 1-1.
Early in the third, Muskegon would claim their first lead of the night, getting the go-ahead goal from Cristophe Tellier, who lit the lamp for the first time in six games. The goal was set up by Dylan Wendt, who fired an accurate pass to Tellier at the top of the crease, and Tellier tipped it home to put Muskegon in front.
From there, the Jacks’ penalty kill came up with two big kills despite a Youngstown push in the third. Muskegon’s killers foiled two Youngstown advantages to preserve the 2-1 lead.
Reid was exceptional on the night, making several series of great saves, including 13 stops in the third period and several in the game’s waning minutes.
Forward Brad Marek was also a key for the Jacks. The veteran forward won several faceoffs down the stretch and had two notable blocked shots late in the game, both of which appeared to injure Marek briefly.
Youngstown goalie Colin Purcell was excellent as well in a 30-save effort, but was outdueled by Reid and thus fell to 0-2-0 on the year.
Muskegon would put the game away with a Jack Williams empty-net goal as time expired to make the final score 3-1.
Muskegon concludes their seven-game homestand Saturday at Mercy Health Arena against Team USA U17.
Muskegon goals: Kelly (13), Tellier (10), Williams (10)
Muskegon assists: Nick Portz (11), Quinn Hutson (11), Wendt (16), Cameron Berg (21), Tom Sinclair (6)