The Johnstown Tomahawks defeated the Maryland Black Bears by a score of 5-2 in Friday night’s heated matchup, highlighted by goaltender Sam Evola’s stellar performance in net and defenseman Max Smolinski’s first NAHL goal.
Will Margel got things started early tonight, scoring his eighth goal of the season, just as a Maryland penalty expired, ripping a blistering shot over the shoulder of Maryland goaltender Hannes Kollen. Not long after the opening goal, the game took a twist as the Black Bears and Tomahawks got into it, with frustrations building early between both sides. There were a few penalties throughout the period. Four for the Black Bears and two to the Tomahawks. The most impactful penalty being Aidan McDowell’s interference penalty for Maryland, on which rookie defenseman Max Smolinski found the back of the net for the first time since joining the Hawks to score his first NAHL goal on the power play, assisted by John Gelatt.
The Tomahawks opened the 2nd period with another early goal, this time coming from Anthony Mastromonica, netting his tenth goal of the season for the Hawks only 1:25 into the period. Two minutes later, Johnstown’s Jared Gerger and Maryland’s Jack Hillman dropped the gloves, getting the fans in Johnstown excited as the two players headed to the penalty box. 15 seconds later, Dusty Geregach got called for a holding penalty to give the Black Bears a power play opportunity, still early in the period. The Tomahawks penalty kill unit continued being strong and successful though killing off yet another penalty. At the 15:32 mark in the period, Ryan Poorman extended the lead to four for the Tomahawks as he netted his fourth goal of the season, unassisted. The Tomahawks would end the period up by four to start the 3rd with a confident and controlling lead.
The 3rd period turned into Friday Fight Night as things really heated up with three fights breaking out, all in the first half of the period. The second half of the period saw more goal scoring though, beginning with Will Margel scoring netting his second goal of the game on the power play at the 9:06 mark, followed shortly by Maryland’s Jesse Horacek finding the back of the net, solving Sam Evola to make it a 5-1 game. With only 1:24 remaining in regulation, Horacek scored again to give the Black Bears two goals on the night. The clock would hit 0, the horn would sound, and the Tomahawks would win 5-2 over the Black Bears.
After a fiery Friday night game, the two teams are back at it tomorrow night in Johnstown for the final game of the weekend series at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA at 7 PM. Get your tickets now. You won’t want to miss it.