Tomahawks Drop 3-1 Lead, Fall to Division-Leading Eagles, 5-4
By Suzanne Grove
Johnstown, Pa – With goaltender Chris Truehl pulled to give the Tomahawk’s the man-advantage, Cody Gylling’s goal with 13 seconds left to play was not enough to help the Tomahawks power past the division-leading Sault Ste. Marie Eagles, who defeated Johnstown, 5-4, Saturday night at the War Memorial Arena.
In a game that was eerily similar to Friday night’s loss to Port Huron, the Tomahawks dropped a 3-1 lead that was established late in the second period on a Cobi Smith-Mass penalty shot. Smith-Mass was awarded the shot after splitting two defensemen, who seconds later dragged him down and prevented the Johnstown forward from getting his shot off. Smith-Mass brought life to his bench when he took advantage of the opportunity, faking a backhand shot before firing the puck into the top-left corner of the net to give his team the two-goal lead.
Truehl, who was pulled after allowing four Port Huron goals Friday night, was back between the pipes for Johnstown to start the game, making his ninth straight appearance in net. He allowed 5 of 30 on the night.
The Tomahawks started the game strong, striking 27 seconds into the opening period when Gylling put a shot behind Soo goaltender Tyler Marble. It marked Gylling’s fourth goal and seventh point in eight games against Soo this season.
The Eagles opened the second period scoring at 3:32 on a shot from the team’s leading goal scorer, Eric Rivard, that beat Truehl’s glove-side, making it 1-1.
The Tomahawks regained the lead after Jordan Watt fired a shot that eluded Marble, a power-play goal with the Eagles’ Michal Toman in the box for slashing.
The Tomahawks power play had only two chances, going 1-for-2. Johnstown did not allow Soo to find success on any of their three opportunities.
The Eagles did not allow the two-goal deficit to affect their game, quickly rebounding from Watt’s goal to make it 3-2 on a Kyle Froese shot less than one minute later.
Alexander Taulien beat Truehl to tie the game 4:28 into the final period for his second point of the night after adding an assist on the Froese goal. Goals by Brandon Adams and Denver Pierce gave the Eagles three goals in the third period and finished off the Soo scoring at five.
The Tomahawks play two games next weekend in Janesville before returning to Johnstown for four games in two weeks.