The Waterloo Black Hawks dueled the Muskegon Lumberjacks throughout a close contest Saturday, but the visitors were eventually dealt a 3-2 shootout setback at L.C. Walker Arena.

Goaltenders Eric Schierhorn and Cameron Johnson each stopped the first six shootout attempts that they faced. In the seventh round, Jake Horton’s try was denied, but Haralds Egle as able to convert a backhanded chance, lifted to the stick side of Johnson.

Muskegon had struck for the opening goal at 4:10 of the first period; a long shot by Janik Moeser sailed to the top corner over the glove of Johnson. However, playing four-on-four at 9:22, Liam Pecararo stepped up ice and around Christian Wolanin for a try. Schierhorn made an initial save but left a rebound and an open side, and Pecararo capitalized on the second opportunity.

Both teams gave an encore performance in the second, with Muskegon pulling ahead before Waterloo retied the count. Matt Mendelson gave the Lumberjacks their second lead at 47 seconds, firing in a loose puck from the right circle. However, the Hawks only needed a little more than five minutes to earn an equalizer at 6:01, when Drew Melanson patiently fed the puck to Tyler Sheehy, who had an open net after a backpedalling defender bumped Schierhorn.

In the third period, Johnson contributed immensely to a scoreless 20 minutes. At 5:36 of the frame, he turned away both a breakaway and rebound chance by Matt Iacopelli, the United States Hockey League’s leading goal scorer. Johnson stopped Iacopelli again and a second opportunity from Mason Jobst two minutes later. The Hawks had to battle through a major checking from behind penalty to Lawton Courtnall with three minutes remaining, but Waterloo survived to overtime. A game-saving shot block from Alec McCrea during the remaining penalty time in the extra period helped Waterloo reach the shootout.

Next Up: The Hawks schedule is a matchup against the Indiana Ice at Young Arena. The 7:05 contest Thursday is a College Night; tickets for college students are $7 when purchased in advance or $8 on game day. For tickets, call the Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.