After outscoring Maine on the road 15-2 over two games the last time these teams met up, Johnstown was looking to continue their swagger and high-scoring ways against a highly competitive division foe at what is becoming a crucial time in the season.
Just 5:09 into the game, Tomahawks goaltender Josh Graziano made an initial save on the shot from Maine’s Jackson Vercellono. While Graziano thought he has possession of the puck, Aiden Connolly found it on the ice and picked it up to put it in the net to open the scoring for Maine. The 1st period went by fairly quickly with only a few whistles throughout the first 20 minutes. Along with consistent play, we saw discipline play from both teams, with the first penalty coming at the 18:02 mark in the opening period. TJ Koufis was called for hooking which gave Maine the first power play of the evening, which carried over into the 2nd period by just two seconds.
The Tomahawks got some time on the advantage of their own, seeing a power play turn into a 5-on-3 in the early minutes of the 2nd period. The Tomahawks had many great chances, but Maine goaltender Tyriq Outen refused to allow Johnstown a goal, making tremendous plays without his stick throughout about half the penalty kill. The middle frame also had good flow to it, with the game continuing to not have many breaks in play. At the 13:11 mark, Stefan Owens found the back of the net again for Maine to make it 2-0 in favor of the Nordiques. A few minutes later, Liam Whitehouse received a roughing minor during a play in front of the two benches, putting Maine on the power play. About halfway through the man-advantage, Owens scored again, netting his 23rd goal of the season with the goals coming 3:02 apart. The Tomahawks hadn’t faced a drought like this going into a 3rd period for awhile and came out determined to get back on track in the game, with a sense of urgency.
The game quietly dwindled away in the 3rd period, with only one penalty going to Maine’s Casper Soderling in the earlier stages of the period. The Nordiques successfully killed off the penalty and the game continued 3-0, in their favor. With 2:01 remaining in regulation, Brendan Clark gave the Tomahawks some life, getting on the board to make it 3-1. Less than a minute later, Maine’s Cannon Green scored on the empty net to make the final score 4-1 Nordiques on Friday night. Outen ended the game with 32 saves on 33 shots for the Nordiques.
The two teams are set to face off again Saturday night at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA with another two crucial points on the line for both sides. Tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com or through the Tomahawks front office.