Blaine, Minn. – The Johnstown Tomahawks were unable to continue the momentum of their win on the opening night of the NAHL showcase, following up with a 4-0 loss to the Topeka RoadRunners Thursday morning.
The game – Johnstown's second contest of the Showcase – opened with evenly matched action on both sides of the ice as the Tomahawks and Roadrunners traded scoring chances while netminders Ryan Bednard of Johnstown and Matej Tomak of Topeka held strong.
Topeka broke onto the scoring sheet at 15:59 of the first period, when center Jasen Fernsler won an offensive zone faceoff to defenseman Dan Rzansky, who sent a fluttering shot over Bednard's blocker for the first score of the game, a powerplay goal.
The Roadrunners struck twice again in the second period. With the Roadrunners again on the powerplay following a boarding penalty to Tommy Hall, Topeka's Sly Slutter capitalized on a failed Johnstown clearing attempt and fed the puck to defenseman Daniel Brickley. Brickley unleashed a hard blast towards Bednard, and Fernsler was there to chip in the rebound for Topeka's second powerplay goal at 11:06.
The lead extended to 3-0 at 16:24, when Topeka's Ryan Polin fired a streaking wrist shot past Bednard. The goal game during 4-on-4 action, with Johnstown's Trevor Recktenwald and Topeka's Will Scherer each in the box for separate incidents.
Johnstown's best window to claw back into the game came late in the second, when the RoadRunners' Joe Hall committed a head contact penalty at 18:05, earning a five-minute major penalty. At 19:26, teammate Sly Sutter also entered the box for a two minute checking from behind call, give the Tomahawks a full two minutes of 5-on-3 powerplay time to close the second period and to open the third.
Johnstown, however, was unable to solve Tomak in net, failing to capitalize on either Topeka penalty.
The Roadrunners, meanwhile, added their fourth and final score at 3:49 when Yu Hikosake beat Bednard with a backhanded score past the Johnstown netminder's blocker.
Tomek finished the game with the shutout victory, stopping all 27 Johnstown shots. Bednard saved 18 of 22 shots against in the loss, leaving the rookie with an 0-2-0 record to open the season.
Johnstown finished 0-for-seven on the powerplay, and Topeka scored on two of seven powerplay attempts.
The Tomahawks will try to rebound Friday afternoon against the Austin Bruins on the third day of the NAHL Showcase. The game begins at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Johnstown's home schedule begins Oct. 25 against the Keystone Ice Miners.
Flex-ticket packages for the upcoming season are currently available and start at less than $99. Single game tickets are also now on sale. For information, contact the team at 814-536-4625 or visit JohnstownTomahawks.com