MUSKEGON, Mich. — Tyler Gratton scored two goals in the final period but a rally by the Central Illinois Flying Aces fell short in a 4-3 loss to the Muskegon Lumberjacks in a United States Hockey League game at L.C. Walker Arena on Friday.
Both of Gratton's scores, his ninth and 10th goals of the season, were assisted by Philippe Lapointe and Cal Kiefuk. The second came with 3:03 remaining with Muskegon able to hold off the Flying Aces the rest of the way.
Muskegon had grabbed an early 3-0 lead before a second period goal by the Aces' Trevor Janicke cut into the deficit. Muskegon's Bobby Lynch would add the much needed Muskegon insurance goal just 23 seconds later.
Muskegon outshot the Flying Aces, 34-25. Central Illinois goalie Mitchell Gibson had 30 saves.
There were 22 penalties in the rough and tumble affair with the Aces penalized 10 times for 31 minutes and Muskegon 12 times for 35 minutes.
Central Illinois was 1-of-5 on power play opportunities. The Aces were 1-of-3.
Central Illinois fell to 17-20-2-1 with the loss. Muskegon improved to 29-9-2-1. The teams will meet again at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday.