Casey Linkenheld scored twice, and Trevor Recktenwald added a goal and assist, as the Johnstown Tomahawks defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 5-2 on Saturday night at the Cambria County War Memorial. The win moves the Tomahawks within one point of Keystone for third place in the NAHL North Division.
Kenai River (11-21-2) got on the board first, as Joey Sardina found the puck in a scrum in front of the net, chipping it past Tomahawks goaltender Jake Gwillim 1:52 into the game.
Johnstown (16-13-2) tied the game at 6:34 of the first period, as Brady Bender scored during a 5-on-3 opportunity. Dakoda Menslage provided the pass that led to the top shelf goal by Bender.
The Tomahawks extended the lead less than two minutes later, as Linkenheld slid the puck under Brown Bears goaltender Alec Derks at 8:12. Alex Jaeckle earned the assist on Linkenheld’s 4-on-4 goal.
Linkenheld connected on his second goal of the game, scoring on a shot that slid under the right pad of Derks at 11:45 of the second period. Linkenheld finished the weekend with five goals and an assist.
Later in the second period, Josh Bowes made it a 4-1 game with his third goal of the season at 14:37. Collin Montgomery and Bender each added assist on the goal. Trevor Recktenwald got the fifth and final goal on the board, scoring just 75 seconds later.
Kenai River cut the deficit to 5-2, as Matt Rudin scored with 38 seconds remaining in the second period. Joey Kaszupski and Alex Jackstadt each added assists on Rudin’s eighth goal of the season.
Gwillim earned his second consecutive win, stopping 25 of 27 shots. Derks took the loss, allowing five goals on 16 shots. Evan Hauser stopped all four shots he faced in relief of Derks.
The Tomahawks take on their in-state rivals, the Keystone Ice Miners next Friday at 7 p.m. They conclude the weekend with games against the Springfield Jr. Blues next Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit www.johnstowntomahawks.com or call 814-536-GOAL.