Tomahawks Fall in OT After Dramatic Third-Period Rally
KALAMAZOO, MI – Robbie Payne’s second goal of the game 33 seconds into overtime lifted the Kalamazoo Junior K-Wings to a 5-4 victory over the Johnstown Tomahawks Saturday afternoon at Wings Stadium.
Payne beat goaltender Collin Brennan from the left circle on the only shot of overtime to offset a spectacular third-period rally by the Tomahawks, who scored three power-play goals in the span of 2:06 to erase a 4-1 deficit and forge a 4-4 tie.
The Tomahawks (6-5-5) and Junior K-Wings (9-5-1) meet again Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., with Kalamazoo holding a two-point lead over Johnstown in the NAHL’s North Division standings.
Kalamazoo scored power-play goals 27 seconds apart as part of a four-goal second period to take a 4-1 lead, sending Johnstown starting goaltender Bodhi Engum to the bench in favor of Brennan. But just as penalties got the Tomahawks in trouble in the second, penalties paved the way for their comeback in the third.
Kalamazoo’s Josh Dangel was given a five-minute major penalty for kneeing Mitch Kontny at 4:27 of the third period, and Jesse Kessler set up Cody Gylling’s fifth goal of the season at 7:00 to cut the lead to 4-2. Then a high-sticking penalty to Luc Boby at 7:20 gave Johnstown a five-on-three advantage for a full two minutes against the NAHL’s No. 2 penalty-killing team, and the Tomahawks made the Junior K-Wings pay.
Brandon Reinholz scored his second goal of the game and team-leading sixth of the season at 7:48 off a nice feed from Kontny, and 1:18 later Mike Sandor scored his first goal of the season by deflecting an Ian Spencer shot past goaltender Marcus Due-Boje, a Stockholm native seeing his first action in North America after being acquired from Tri-City of the USHL this week. Jeff Bergh also picked up his second assist of the game on the goal.
Johnstown outshot Kalamazoo, 24-6, in the third period and 39-28 for the game.
After Reinholz gave Johnstown a 1-0 lead at 2:07 of the first period – marking the 13th time in 16 games this season that Johnstown scored the first goal of the game – Payne scored a five-on-three goal at 1:19 of the second to tie the game with Jordan Watt and Bergh in the penalty box. Kyle Gattelaro converted the rebound of a Dangel shot to put the Junior K-Wings ahead at 1:46 with another power-play goal.
When Boby and Nolan Culver scored 1:42 apart later in the period for a 4-1 lead, Engum was replaced by Brennan. Engum was making his first start since Oct. 12.
Payne’s pass to Boby resulted in a 3-1 Kalamazoo lead at 13:26, and Culver then re-directed a Davis DeKorte pass from his spot at the edge of the left circle for a 4-1 lead.