SOLDOTNA, AK –The Johnstown Tomahawks overcame a 5-2 deficit in the final 5:24 of regulation, thanks to a hat trick from Zac Robbins. In the end, the Tomahawks earned an important point in a 6-5 loss to the Kenai River Brown Bears on Saturday night at the Soldotna Sports Center. The point increased the Tomahawks lead over Michigan to six points and their lead over Springfield to seven points.
Kenai River took an early 2-0 lead, thanks to goals from Jack Gessert at 7:23 and 10:03 of the first period. Maurin Bouvet and Tyler Andrews assisted on the first goal, while Alex Jackstadt and Bouvet earned the assists on the second goal.
Alex Alger got the Tomahawks on the board with 27 seconds remaining in the period, as his shot from the left side made it over the shoulder of goaltender Alec Derks and into the net. Tanner Barnes and Zac Robbins picked up assists on the second goal of the weekend for Alger.
The Brown Bears extended their lead to 5-1 with a trio of second period goals. Sam Carlson made it 3-1 at 7:18, before Tanner Schachle gave the Brown Bears a three-goal lead just 17 seconds later. Gessert then completed his hat trick at 11:08.
Late in the second period, Josh Bowes pulled the Tomahawks back within three, as his shot from the front of the net hit off the pads of Derks and slowly rolled over the line at 17:44. Ian Spencer and Logan Hudson each earned assists on the goal.
Zac Robbins started his hat trick with a shot off the mask of Derks and into the net with 5:24 remaining in regulation. Less than two minutes later, Robbins scored from the right side of the net to pull the Tomahawks within one. He completed the hat trick at 18:15, poking the puck under the pads of Derks. Alger and Barnes added assists on all three goals, giving them each four points in the game.
Kenai River earned the extra point in overtime, as Gessert scored at 2:51.
Derks earned the win, stopping 31 of 36 shots. Bednard suffered the loss in relief, stopping 11 of 13 shots. He replaced Jake Gwillim, who stopped 19 of 23 shots. The Tomahawks went 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Tomahawks travel to Fairbanks next Friday and Saturday, before returning home to take on Michigan March 7-8. For more information, call 814-536-4625.