MIDDLETOWN – Casey Linkenheld picked up a hat trick, but the Johnstown Tomahawks fell to the New Jersey Titans 5-4 in overtime Friday night at Middletown Ice World. The Tomahawks earned a point in the overtime loss, moving them within two points of Aston for first place in the East Division.
New Jersey (22-14-2) opened the scoring 16 seconds into the game, as Bruno Birzitis scored his seventh goal of the season.
Linkenheld tied the game at 12:41, before giving Johnstown (20-16-5) its first lead of the game with 1:04 remaining in the first period. Andrew Romano provided the assists on both goals.
The score remained the same, until Jesse Farabee scored at 6:40 of the second period. The Titans regained the lead in the third period, as Raymond Brice netted a power-play goal at 4:02 and William Riedell extended the lead at 10:16.
Just over a minute later, Linkenheld completed the hat trick, pulling the Tomahawks back within one. Logan Hudson added the assist on the second career hat trick for Linkenheld.
Luke Lynch tied the game, scoring his 19th goal of the season at 14:37. Romano and Dante Suffredini provided the assists on the goal.
In overtime, Roberts Smits scored 21 seconds in, giving the Titans the victory and the extra point. Darren Brady and Adam Hascic provided assists on the goal.
Spencer Wright earned the win, stopping 26 of 30 shots. Ryan Glander suffered the loss, stopping 32 of 27 shots.
The Tomahawks close out their weekend series in New Jersey Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. They return home to take on Aston Feb. 12 and 13. For more information, visit www.johnstowntomahawks.com or call 814-536-GOAL (4625).