The Muskegon Lumberjacks controlled the game early on in their seventh meeting against the Youngstown Phantoms. Tanner Kelly bookended the first-period scoring with the opening goal at 9:48 and closed out the period with 12.5 seconds remaining with his second of the match.
The second period opened with a volley of goal-scoring. The Phantoms’ Jack Malone upset the Jacks’ 2-goal lead at the 2-minute mark of the second period on the powerplay. Owen Mehlenbacher answered back with a goal just 35-seconds later - his 6th of the season.
The Lumberjacks penalty killers were hard at work in the second period fending off three penalties and generating a short-handed break-away opportunity courtesy of Jack Williams.
Youngstown staged a comeback in the third period with what appeared to be the game-tying goal. Nathan Reid made the initial stop on a bouncing puck off the shoulder which initially was called on the ice. After review, it was deemed no goal and Muskegon kept their lead.
The Lumberjacks sealed the deal with an empty-net goal from Captain Dylan Wednt at 18:44 in the third period.
Netminder Nathan Reid has been Muskegon’s backbone since the injury to Jan Skorpik in the February 20th game against the USA u17s. Putting on a stunning performance, he kept the crease clear for Muskegon in spite of the barrage of Youngstown shots.
Improving their record to 20-11-1-2 for the season, the Lumberjacks maintain a firm grip on the second place position in the Eastern Conference - just behind the Chicago Steel.
Lumberjacks Goals: Kelly (16), Mehlenbacher (6), Wednt (9)
Lumberjacks Assists: Hutson (13), Aucoin (3), Williams (9), Kempf (3), Carogioiello (3), Sinclair (7)