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Muskegon suffers second loss of the season, drops 4-3 decision to Youngstown

By Scott Brandenburg, 11/10/18, 10:45PM EST


Phantoms score the final two goals, including game-winner with 37 seconds left, for first win in 5 tries against the Lumberjacks

MUSKEGON, MI - Youngstown turned the tables on the Muskegon Lumberjacks Saturday.

In four previous games between the two teams, the Lumberjacks always found a way to get past the Phantoms in the end.

This time though it was Youngstown which came up with the winning plays in front of a sellout crown at L.C. Walker Arena.

The Phantoms scored the only two goals of the third period, including the game-winner from Brett Murray with just 37 seconds to play in regulation, to come from behind for a 4-3 win, their first in five tries against the Lumberjacks.

Muskegon suffered just its second loss of the season and fell to 11-2, but still leads the Eastern Conference with 22 points. Youngstown improved to 5-7-0-2 to move up to sixth in the Eastern Conference with 12 points.

Murray provided the initial spark with the game's first goal nine minutes into the game, then proved to be the hero with the game-winning goal in the final minute. They were his fourth and fifth goals of the season, respectively.

Youngstown ruined the first start of the season for Muskegon goalie Keegan Karki.

The second-year Lumberjacks goalie, who has been battling a knee injury early this season, had his team in position for the win through two periods, as the hosts led 3-2 through 40 minutes.

The high-powered Muskegon offense went silent in the final 20 minutes, though, one night after scoring four in the final period to beat Youngstown 8-2.

Meanwhile the Phantoms kept chipping away until finally beating Karki with the tying goal midway through the frame. Thomas Farrell scored his first of the season at 10:17 to give his team new life and make it 3-all.

That's the way it stayed until the Lumberjacks got caught in a bad change and Murray got loose for the game-winner.

Egor Afanasyev scored his seventh of the season for Muskegon, tying the game at 1-all less than two minutes after Murray scored his first goal nearing the midway point of the opening period. Mikael Hakkarainen, who had been averaging two points a game coming into the contest, and Nic Belpedio drew the assists.

Muskegon seemingly had the Phantoms reeling again when it took the lead with less than four minutes to play in the first. Alex Gaffney rifled  a shot past Jon Mor for the hosts' first lead.

The two teams traded goals in the middle frame. Jack Malone tied the game at 2-all for Youngstown but Muskegon's Bobby Lynch promptly untied it 1:30 later.

Youngstown outshot Muskegon 31-27. Both teams went 0-for-3 on the power play.

Muskegon's now had win streaks of eight and three this season, and looks to start another one immediately Sunday at Central Illinois. It's the first meeting of the season between the teams. Puck drop is at 4:05.

While they're on the road, the Lumberjacks want to remind you their online jersey auction is still going on. The Jerseys the Lumberjacks had on display during Saturday's Military Appreciation Night are up for auction. There's still time to put in a bid until 5 p.m. Sunday.

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