Tomahawks Lose Early Lead, Fall to Fighting Falcons, 5-4
By Suzanne Grove
Johnstown, Pa – Despite carrying a 3-1 lead into the midway mark of the game, the Tomahawks allowed three Port Huron goals in the second period, losing 5-4 on Friday night at the War Memorial Arena. Thursday night Johnstown defeated Port Huron, 3-2.
With only 1:02 remaining and goaltender Colin Brennan pulled to give the Tomahawks the man-advantage, Mitch Kontny brought his team within one. But the effort was not enough and the clock expired before Johnstown could find the net again to tie the score and force the game to overtime.
The Tomahawks split two games with Port Huron, improving their record against the division-rival to 2-4-2. Johnstown continues to sit in fourth place in the division with 51 points.
The bad blood between the division rivals was evident within the first five minutes of play with two separate scrums in the crease of each goaltender occurring minutes apart. By the time 60 minutes expired, the two teams combined for 28 penalties.
Goaltender Chris Truehl was between the pipes for the start of the game, allowing four goals before Brennan took his place at 15:03 of the second period. Brennan only faced nine shots, failing to stop just one–Bryan Yim’s goal that gave Port Huron the 5-3 lead.
Five minutes after failing to capitalize on the power play after Ryan Nick received a four-minute double minor and game ejection for checking from behind after leveling a hard hit on JB Baker in the corner boards of the Tomahawks’ defensive zone, the Tomahawks put one behind Port Huron goaltender Max Milosek when Brandon Reinholz deflected a Cody Gylling shot to give the Tomahawks the 1-0 lead for the second night in a row. The goal marked Reinholz’s second goal and third point of the weekend.
After Brett D’Andrea got his team on the board before the conclusion of the first period with a goal at 17:45, the Tomahawks again gained the lead just 2:06 into the second period when Connor Wright fired a shot into the top shelf of Port Huron’s net.
Cody Gylling earned his second point of the night 4:14 later, picking up his own rebound in front of Milosek to forge the two-goal lead.
But, Port Huron responded with two goals of its own to tie the game, 3-3. Within a span of 2:03, Port Huron’s Rick DeRosa and Easton Powers each put one past Truehl.
Following the goal, an altercation in front of the penalty boxes resulted in three separate penalties, including a 10-minute game misconduct, for Jake Fairchild, placing the Tomahawks on the penalty-kill. When Andrew McDonald found the puck and went in for a short-handed shot on Milosek, he was plowed down behind the net by Bobby Brown, who was given two minutes for boarding. With the two teams playing four-on-four, DeRosa tallied his second goal of the game, making it 4-3 and giving his team its first lead of the night. Colin Brennan was placed between the pipes in relief of Truehl, who had stopped 16 of 19 shots.
The Tomahawks face the Sault Ste. Marie Eagles, who are currently in first place in the North Division, Saturday night at 7 p.m.