After coming off an overtime loss Friday night to the Maryland Black Bears, the Johnstown Tomahawks were hungry for a win to secure the #1 spot in the NAHL East Division.
Goaltender Sam Evola got off to a hot start in the first period of play with some impressive saves. However, Maryland took an early lead with a Garret Szydlowski goal at 7:28. The Tomahawks battled back, but Maryland’s Philip Thornqvist scored just a minute later to extend their lead 2-0. With penalties on both sides, there was a battle of power-play opportunities, but neither team would escape with any power-play goals during the period. After the first 20 minutes, Johnstown went into the locker room down by 2.
Johnstown returned to the ice in the second period, determined to halt the Maryland Black Bears. But Maryland quickly responded by extending their lead once again. After the Tanner Rowe goal at 1:35 into the second period, we saw both teams have their chances at making it to the back of the net. With multiple penalties including, 4-on-4 action throughout the period, the game started to get more physical for both teams. The Tomahawks finally got on the board with a Daniel Tkac goal assisted by Ethan Webb and Reed Stark with 3:14 to go in the second period. After 40 minutes Johnstown would still trial the Black Bears, 3-1.
Heading into the final period down by 2, the Tomahawks looked to take the lead and avoid a sweep. Wisconsin commit TJ Koufis gets things started with his 5th goal of the season to add to the Tomahawks score and make it 2-3. Koufis’ goal assisted by Stark and Tkac seemed to light a fire in the Tomahawks and got the 1ST SUMMIT Arena ready to rally for the remaining 15 minutes of the game. But, that would be the only goal scored in the third period. After twenty minutes of a hard-fought battle, the Tomahawks would fall to the Maryland Black Bears 2-3.
The Johnstown Tomahawks will face NAHL East Rivals, the New Jersey Titans next weekend at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM Friday and 7:00 PM Saturday in Johnstown. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com and by visiting the Tomahawks office.