After claiming victories in their last three meetings with the Port Huron Fighting Falcons, the Johnstown Tomahawks fell short in their comeback attempt against their division rivals Friday night, losing 5-3.
Port Huron’s Vito Aluia opened scoring 7:39 into the first period, netting his third goal of the season off a long pass from Matt Seidel. The Tomahawks countered midway through the second, however, as Forest Donovan jammed his second goal of the year past Port Huron goaltender Max Milosek, with assists from Omar Mullan and Trevor Recktenwald.
The tie did not last long, as the Fighting Falcons’ Mitch Maloney scored a pair of quick goals just 1:21 apart near the end of the second period. Port Huron extended the lead to 4-1 early in the third, as Seidel beat Johnstown goalie Alex Okicki just 1:37 into the period.
Jordan Watt sparked the attempted comeback at 4:04 of the third, flicking a shot past Milosek for his seventh of the year with assists from Mitch Hall and Trevor Recktenwald. Recktenwald brought Johnstown within one with 3:06 remaining, banking the rebound from a Cody Bentzel shot off Milosek and into the net for his seventh of the year. It was Recktenwald’s third goal in the last two games, and his 11th point is his last 11 games.
Port Huron sealed the victory with 1:29 remaining when the Fighting Falcons gained control of the puck moments after the Tomahawks pulled Okicki for the extra attacker. Seidel pushed the puck up ice to Nick Horne, who sent a long shot from the blue line past the Johnstown defenders and into the empty net for his fourth of the year.
The win extended Port Huron’s (17-5-6) lead over Johnstown (16-11-2) to six points in the North Division standings. Milosek stopped 23 of 26 shots in the victory, while Okicki made 23 of 27 saves in his first regulation loss since Oct. 11. Both teams were perfect on the penalty kill, as Johnstown killed all three Port Huron powerplays. The Tomahawks were 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.
The Tomahawks and Fighting Falcons will complete their weekend series Saturday night with a 7 p.m. faceoff.