BLOOMINGTON — A four-goal spurt, a pair of tallies by Calen Kiefiuk and a lot of Ryan Snowden saves combined to get the Central Illinois Flying Aces back in the win column for the first time in more than a month.
The Aces built a 4-1 lead three minutes into the third period and Snowden ended up turning aside 36 shots in a 5-4 victory over the Muskegon Lumberjacks before a Saturday night crowd of 945 at Grossinger Motors Arena.
Brady Smith, Sebastian Dirven and Alex Barber had the other goals for Central Illinois (13-33-5), which salvaged a split in the weekend series and halted a 16-game winless streak dating back to Jan. 26.
Wyatt Bongiovanni had a goal and two assists and Keegan Karki made 17 saves for Muskegon (26-21-2). Emilio Pettersen, Anthony Del Gaizo and Vincent de May notched the other goal for the visitors.
Two minutes after Petterson gave the Lumberjacks the initial lead midway through the first, Smith began the Aces' spurt by slapping a loose puck in the slot past Karki. After another two minutes went by, Kiefiuk gave Central Illinois the lead with assists from Steven Agriogianis and Dirven.
Dirven then scored a power play goal 25 seconds into the middle period and Barber made it a three-goal game just over two minutes after that. Bongiovanni's goal came less than a minute later, but Kiefiuk's second score made it 5-2 with just under 12 minutes left in the second.
Del Gaizo and de May scored less than a minute apart to get Muskegon within a goal with 7½ minutes to play but the Aces held on, surviving the final 90 seconds with Muskegon's net empty for an extra attacker.
Central Illinois starts the second half of its season-long eight-game home stretch with a 4:07 p.m. game against Madison next Sunday.