MIDDLETOWN, N.J. — A back-and-forth contest between the Johnstown Tomahawks and New Jersey Titans ended in Johnstown’s favor as the team captured a thrilling 6-5 win in the shootout Friday night at Middletown Ice World.
The Tomahawks and Titans skated to a scoreless first period with New Jersey gaining the lead in shots on goal 16-9.
Johnstown would set the tone early in the second period when Dalton Hunter deflected a shot from Edward Hirka that beat Titans goaltender Ryan Ferland. Hayden Rowan assisted on Hunter’s 25th of the season.
Just 30 seconds later, the Tomahawks gained a two-goal lead. Alex Singley’s wrist shot from the left circle solved Ferland, glove side, for his second of the year. Hirka and Evan Somoza picked up helpers on the goal.
However, the Titans would not go away as Hunter Alden cut the Tomahawks’ lead to 2-1 at 4:53 of the second period.
New Jersey tied the game at 2-2 two minutes later after miscommunication by Johnstown defenders led to Dylan Healey chipping in the tying goal.
Johnstown bounced back before the end of the period when Mitchell Hale tipped in a Brandon Young shot from the point to take a 3-2 lead into the intermission.
A wild second period turned into a wild third period as New Jersey tied the game 16 seconds into frame with a Jordan Kaplan goal. Todd Goehring and William Riedell.
The Tomahawks took back the lead at 4-3 at 2:02 after Josh Biasillo converted on a breakaway unassissted.
Nine minutes later, the Titans knotted the game up once again when Gordie Helmuth scored a power play goal assisted by Danny Eruzione and Nick Boyagian.
Less than a minute later, Johnstown struck back again to take the 5-4 lead late in the third period/ Evan Somoza finished a Josh Norman pass behind Ferland for his 11th of the season.
Not out of the woods yet, the Tomahawks surrendered another tying goal at 17:36 as Ryan Wheeler scored his seventh of the season.
Overtime yielded no results so both teams headed to the shootout.
Johnstown used two goals from Norman and Adam Pilewicz and a save on Helmuth by Drew Hotte in the third round of the shootout to capture the 6-5 win.
Johnstown returns to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena March 17-18 for a St. Patrick’s Green Out Weekend. The team will wear specialty Irish jerseys against the Aston Rebels presented by the Holiday Inn.