The Johnstown Tomahawks defeated the Minnesota Wilderness Friday afternoon on Day 3 of the NAHL Showcase by a final score of 4-1.
The two teams wasted no time at all getting involved with each other as Dusty Geregach (McKees Rocks, PA) and former Tomahawk forward, Max Neill, were sent to the box for coincidental roughing minors after an incident in front of the Johnstown net just 1:53 into the opening period. After going back to full strength both teams settled into the game, keeping the energy levels up and the game intense. Just under halfway through the period, Johnstown defenseman Cedrick Theodore (Rigaud, Quebec) was sent off for tripping, giving the Wilderness their first power play opportunity of the game. Shortly after the Tomahawks killed off said penalty, there were rewarded with a power play of their own as another former Tomahawk, Matt McQuade was sent to the box for roughing. The Wilderness had the same results as Johnstown did on the penalty kill. Riku Brown broke the ice first for Minnesota, netting his first NAHL goal at the 15:57 mark of the 1st period. Johnstown’s David Matousek (West Chester, PA) responded, netting the first goal of his NAHL career also 1:29 later, knotting things up at 1 to end the opening period in Friday’s matinee game.
Right away, Johnstown’s Ed Pazo (Jefferson Hills, PA) is awarded a penalty shot 1:17 into the 2nd period. Minnesota netminder Sam Livecchi made the glove save, keeping the game tied at 1. Five minutes later, the Tomahawks did find the go-ahead goal they were looking for as Jake Black scores on the power play with Minnesota’s Max Rucho in the box for cross-checking. A few minutes later, the Tomahawks went back on the power play with Minnesota’s Hayden Walters in the box for kneeing after coming in contact with Johnstown’s Holt Oliphant (Northbrook, IL). The Tomahawks weren’t able to convert on the power play again, but they were successful in keeping the Wilderness of the score sheet in the 2nd period, taking a 2-1 lead into the final period.
With all the momentum being in the Tomahawks favor to start the 3rd period, the Tomahawks won the opening faceoff, went right into the zone and David Wilcox (Northbrook, IL) scored to make it 3-1 Hawks. Things heated up between the two teams in the late stages of the game with a total of 14 penalty minutes in the final period of the game. The Tomahawks again kept the Wilderness of the scoreboard in the 3rd period as Johnstown goaltender Sam Evola (Rochester, MI) stopped 34 of 35 shots faced Friday afternoon. TJ Koufis (Palatine, IL) sealed the deal for the Tomahawks with an empty net goal with 1:26 to go in the game, ending the game 4-1 in favor of the Tomahawks.
The fourth and final day of the NAHL Showcase is tomorrow, Saturday, September 18. The Tomahawks will face off against the Anchorage Wolverines at 1:30 PM for their last game in Blaine before division play begins next weekend for the Tomahawks against the Northeast Generals in Attleboro.
(15:57) MINNESOTA – Riku Brown (1) from Max Neill (2) Bobby Metz (2)
(17:36) JOHNSTOWN – David Matousek (1) from TJ Koufis (1)
(6:44) JOHNSTOWN – Jake Black (1) from Sean Ramsay (2) Holt Oliphant (1) POWER PLAY
(0:13) JOHNSTOWN – David Wilcox (1) from Braedon Ford (1) Holt Oliphant (2)
(18:35) JOHNSTOWN – TJ Koufis (1) from Noah Wagner (1) Ryan Vellucci (1) EMPTY NET