Tomahawks Dominate Monsters with 6-1 Victory in Fresno
By Suzanne Grove
Fresno, CA – Former Fresno players Andrew McDonald and Zach Wallace combined for five points, helping the Tomahawks to a 6-1 victory over the Monsters on Friday night in California. With six goals, Johnstown matched its season high and moved within six points of the division-leading Jamestown Ironmen.
Johnstown has won six of its last seven games and has points in nine of its last 11 (7-2-2), and the Tomahawks are now 6-1-1 in their last eight road games.
McDonald opened up the scoring, helping the Tomahawks to get on the board first for the 18th time in 26 games when he scored from the right circle just 1:32 into the first after receiving a pass from Connor Wright, who picked up a turnover behind the Fresno net. McDonald began the season with the Monsters before heading to Johnstown as the result of an Oct. 26 trade that sent Brandon Brossoit back to his home state. McDonald, now with six goals and 11 points in 11 games, has proved to be an integral part of the Tomahawks team.
Wallace, a native of Sunland Valley, CA, contributed the secondary assist on McDonald’s goal. Wallace began 2012-2013 with Fresno, playing only one game before going to Johnstown in a transaction on Sept. 13.
The Tomahawks increased their lead to 2-0 when JB Baker got a loose puck in the neutral zone and scored on a two-on-one break with a wrist shot from the right circle at 6:43. The unassisted goal was his first since Oct. 19. Then, with 2:39 remaining, Cody Gylling finished the first-period scoring when he put a puck past the Monster’s Tomas Sholl on a breakaway to make it 3-0. With his seventh goal of the season, Gylling now has a team-leading 21 points. Johnstown matched its season-high for goals in the first period – the team notched three at home against Janesville on Oct. 6.
Despite several great chances, including another breakaway opportunity for Jordan Watt with a little more than 11 minutes left in the second, the Tomahawks were not able to add to their lead in the second period. The Monsters, who dominated much of the period and outshot the Tomahawks, 13-5, also failed to get their first goal of the game. The Tomahawks killed off three Fresno power plays and part of a fourth, including a 28-second two-man advantage, and Tomahawks goaltender Colin Brennan remained strong between the pipes.
Matt Salituro gave the Monsters their first goal and only goal of the game at 1:37 of the third. The goal marked Fresno’s first in six periods of play. But, the Tomahawks were not satisfied with a two-goal lead and responded with three more goals from separate players before the final whistle. McDonald added to his point total, feeding a pass to Ian Spencer for a power-play goal at 6:15 to make it 4-1.
Using the momentum, the Tomahawks scored again less than five minutes later when Wallace made an impressive play, maneuvering around the opposition down the left wing and throwing a pass to Cody Bentzel, who scored his first goal of the season. Johnstown finished the scoring at 6-1 on a power-play goal from Jeff Bergh who cranked a slap shot from the center point.
McDonald finished the game with one goal and two assists while Wallace contributed two assists. The Tomahawks killed all six Fresno power plays, improving to 30-for-140 on the season, retaining their position as fourth in the league with a power-play percentage of 21.4.
The two teams face off again Saturday night for another 10:35 p.m. ET start.