The Johnstown Tomahawks and Springfield Jr. Blues needed a shootout to settle their differences on Thursday night in Springfield, Ill. In the end, three shootout goals gave the Tomahawks a 3-2 victory, snapping a seven game losing streak. The Tomahawks are now one point behind the Jr. Blues for fourth place in the division.
Zac Robbins deflected a shot from Filips Buncis into the net with a backhand, giving the Tomahawks a 1-0 lead 12:55 into the second period. Dakoda Menslage added an assist on the power-play goal.
Less than two minutes later, the Jr. Blues tied the game, as Jared Goudreau scored on a slap shot from inside the right face-off circle. Trevor Stone and Grant Meyer provided the passes that led to the power-play goal.
Joey Lupo gave the Jr. Blues a 2-1 lead, taking a quick pass from Kelly Klima that led to a goal from inside the left face-off circle. Kevin Klima also earned an assist on the goal.
Just over a minute later, Buncis stole the puck during a Springfield clearing attempt, leading to a Cam Bleck shot that deflected off the pads of goaltender Niko Della Maggorie and into the net. Steve Quagliata also picked up an assist on the Tomahawks second power-play goal of the night.
The Jr. Blues appeared to take a 3-2 lead with 3:07 remaining in regulation, but after a discussion, the officials overturned the call.
After a scoreless overtime period, the game moved into the shootout. Bleck, Casey Linkenheld, and Tanner Barnes each converted on their opportunities to give the Tomahawks the extra point.
Jake Gwillim earned the win in impressive fashion, stopping 53 of 55 shots and all three shots he faced in the shootout. Della Maggorie suffered the loss, stopping 29 of 31 shots and one of four shots in the shootout. The Tomahawks went 2-for-7 on the power-play and 8-for-9 on the penalty kill.
The Tomahawks and Jr. Blues meet again on Friday night at 8:05 p.m. EST. Johnstown returns home to take on Keystone Feb. 12 at 10:30 a.m. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.johnstowntomahawks.com or call 814-536-4625.