The Johnstown Tomahawks faced off on Monday afternoon against the United States National Team Development Program’s U18 squad. The game would be close, but the Hawks would go on to lose 5-4.
Neither side could find the back of the net until the last quarter of the period when John Gelatt finally broke the ice giving the Tomahawks the first goal of the day. Goaltender Peyton Grainer had faced a lot of tough shots from Team USA in the 1st period. He had successfully stopped all shots until Luke Hughes snuck one behind him with 2:39 to go in the opening period. Grainer ended the period with 11 saves on 12 shots. Both teams would go into the intermission with one goal.
Throughout the 2nd period there was a lot of good back and forth action for both teams. Special teams were out there quite a bit with many penalties for both sides. In return, there were a lot of good chances for both sides. Jeremy Wilmer would be the first to convert in the 2nd period as he snuck a puck over Grainer’s shoulder to give the United States their first lead of the day with a little bit of open ice in 4-on-4 play. Not long after, Tomahawks defenseman David Paluch breaks his stick while taking a shot on the power play. USA gets the puck and a 2 on 1 rush develops between Paluch and the two USA attackers. Paluch uses his body to help keep the puck out of the net and keep it a one goal game. With only 3:24 to go in the period, Jared Gerger ties things up again at 2 for the Tomahawks. Only a few seconds later, Red Savage would score on the power play for USA regain their one goal lead, which they would take with them into the final period.
Around seven minutes into the period, Dusty Geregach would find the back of the net to tighten the gap for the Tomahawks making it 4-3. Grainer would continue making miraculous stops throughout the day stopping 32 of 36 shots faced. Brendan Clark would score off the faceoff to tie the game up at 4 with 7:59 remaining in the period. Peyton Grainer continued to make miraculous saves throughout the game and period to keep USA from taking over the game. USA’s Sean Behrens would score the eventual game winning goal with only 2:07 to go in regulation. The clock would eventually wind down on those last two minutes and the Tomahawks just could not tie the game up again to force overtime. Grainer would end the game with 31 saves on 36 shots and the Tomahawks had totaled 32 shots on Team USA.
The Tomahawks will be back at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA again this coming Friday and Saturday as they are scheduled to get back to NAHL regular season action against the Danbury Jr. Hattricks. Tickets are available now online at ticketmaster.com.