The Johnstown Tomahawks defeated the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks Friday afternoon by a score of 4-1, highlighted by Josh Graziano’s stellar performance in net and Dusty Geregach netting his first goal in a Tomahawks uniform.
The Tomahawks came out strong to start the game, with William Persson opening the scoring only 1:15 into the 1st period for his fourth goal of the season. Six minutes later, Danbury’s Nolan Barrett was sent off for hooking. Just over halfway through the penalty, Alex Grtiz puts one away behind goaltender Edvard Nordlund to make it 2-0, scoring off a beautiful pass from Will Margel to put the Hawks ahead by 2 in the early stages of the game. Only three minutes later, Will Margel’s offensive efforts would pay off again as he found the back of the net himself, which gave the Tomahawks a 3-0 advantage with 8:15 remaining in the opening period. Johnstown’s Liam Whitehouse and Danbury’s Porter Schachle would each get a breather as they got sent to the box for coincidental roughing minors as the final few minutes of the period approached. Neither side found the back of the net with the open ice, sending the game into the 1st intermission with the Tomahawks right where they wanted to be after struggling to find the back of the net last weekend going 0-2 against the New Jersey Titans.
Schachle came back out to get things started early in the 2nd period as he broke the ice for the Hat Tricks, making it 3-1 just 37 seconds into the period. Things were relatively quiet in the 2nd period until the 8:59 mark when Johnstown’s Brendan Clark and Danbury’s Andrew Eberling got into it and were sent to the box for another pair of minor penalties, which resulted in some more four-on-four time. After those penalties got cleared off and a few minutes passed, Barrett would sit for two more minutes, giving the Tomahawks another power play opportunity. Rookie defenseman Dusty Geregach converted on the man-advantage to score his first goal in the NAHL and regain the three-goal lead for the Tomahawks 12:43 into the period, receiving plenty of congratulatory hugs and high-fives from his teammates. The rest of the period would play out, sending the Tomahawks to the locker room with a three goal lead again.
The 3rd period began with Danbury headed back to the box as Alex Krause served the team’s sixth penalty of the game. Not much happened in the final period until the 13:16 mark when Schachle was initially called for a cross-checking minor, which then turned into an unsportsmanlike misconduct, ending his night a little bit early. Time ticked off the clock and the game ended with a scoreless 3rd period and a final score of 4-1 in favor of Johnstown.
The Tomahawks and Hat Tricks are back at it again tomorrow for another afternoon game in Connecticut at 3:30 PM, which will be available on HockeyTV.