Penalty Shot and Strong Goaltending Lead to Tomahawks 2-1 Victory Sunday Night
By Ed Sheets
JOHNSTOWN, PA – Cody Gylling scored a penalty shot goal with less than five seconds remaining in regulation, giving the Tomahawks a 2-1 victory against Kalamazoo in front of 2,241 at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
After several scrums, a pile-up near the Johnstown net, and two fights, it is clear that Johnstown and Kalamazoo are fierce rivals.
The Tomahawks picked up their third consecutive win against Kalamazoo, after sweeping Kalamazoo in their last meeting Nov. 9-10. The win also marked their fourth win in the last five games at home.
Both goaltenders were solid in the game with Chris Truehl stopping 26 of 27 in his 15th start, while Alex Okicki stopped 28 of 30 to take the loss.
After both teams went nearly 34 minutes without scoring, the Tomhawks struck first as Jordan Watt fired a power-play goal past Kalamazoo goaltender Okicki at 14:21 for his 12th goal of the season. This would be the lone power-play goal the Tomahawks would get as they went 1-for-10 on the power play. Kalamazoo was unable to connect on any of their six chances.
Just 44 seconds later Kalamazoo tied the game on a backhander by Taylor Burden.
Following a save by Truehl at 17:39 a pile-up occurred near the Johnstown net, which was followed by Truehl skating to the blue line and challenging Okicki to drop the gloves. Okicki would not move from his crease.
Before the third period could begin, Jesse Kessler and Brendan Vetter got together near center ice, much to the delight of the home fans.
The Tomahawks were granted a rare opportunity, after a Kalamazoo player dislodged the net, leading to Gylling’s penalty shot.
The Tomahawks finish the series against Kalamazoo tomorrow night at the War Memorial Arena at 6 P.M. before traveling to Flint, Michigan to take on the Michigan Warriors Jan.7-9.