The Johnstown Tomahawks defeated the Maryland Black Bears in the do-or-die game four, forcing a game five Saturday night in Johnstown.
The game began with both sides desperately looking for the opening goal in Thursday night’s game. Before a goal though, we’d see a few penalties. Maryland was flagged twice in the 1st period for too-many men. Johnstown was not able to convert on either opportunity, keeping the score knotted at zero through the end of the opening frame.
To begin the 2nd period, Jay Ahearn got the Tomahawks on the board just 1:25 in, scoring his fourth goal in as many games in the playoffs. Four minutes later, Johnstown took their first penalty of the game as Dusty Geregach was sent off for slashing, giving the Black Bears two minutes of advantage time to tie up the game. The Tomahawks PK unit was strong and steady, killing off the penalty, sending us back to 5-on-5 with the Tomahawks ahead by one. Two more minutes after the penalty expired, Max Neill received a pass from Anthony Mastromonica. While losing his footing and falling, he shoved the puck into the back of the net right by Maryland goaltender Hannes Kollen to give the Tomahawks a 2-0 lead. Throughout the remainder of the period, there were ample chances for both sides to add to the scoresheet. Posts were hit and shots were deflected, keeping the score 2-0 for the Tomahawks going into the final 20 minutes in the do-or-die game four.
Both sides were focused on their game to start the period. The Maryland Black Bears sent shots flying towards Tomahawks netminder Sam Evola, but the Tomahawks prevailed, being in the right place at the right time to keep the Black Bears off the board. About halfway through the 3rd period, Maryland’s Josh Nixon found the back of the net, getting them on the board to Make it a one-goal game. Five and a half minutes later, Ahearn showed great patience, playing around Kollen to find the open spot and put the puck in the back of the net, regaining the two-goal lead with 2:47 to go. When Maryland pulled their netminder for the extra-attacker, Dylan Finlay solved Evola with 60 seconds to go in regulation, making it 3-2 still in favor of Johnstown. As the final minute of the game continued on and Maryland pulled their netminder again, Anthony Mastromonica scored on the empty net with 0.1 remaining on the clock, giving the Tomahawks a 4-2 win in Maryland Thursday night.
Game 5 in the best of five series will be Saturday, May 29 at 7 PM at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA. Tickets will be available beginning tomorrow. Stay tuned on social media for further updates.