May 21, 2021

The Johnstown Tomahawks defeated the Maryland Black Bears Friday night in Johnstown in game one of the first round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs by a final score of 5-3.

The Tomahawks wasted no time getting the offense started Friday night as Daniel Tkac scored 1:35 into the game after receiving a pass from Will Margel, earning the team’s first goal of the playoffs. 7 minutes later Cam Gaudette tied things up for Maryland and there was a loud eruption of cheers from the Black Bears fans who made the trip up to Johnstown for the team’s first ever playoff game. With 9:02 remaining in the opening frame, there was a pileup in the corner with both teams fighting to free the puck. As things opened up, Jay Ahearn found defenseman Max Smolinski open and ready to rip a shot to the net. Smolinski lit the lamp, regaining the lead for the Tomahawks at 2-1. Exactly two minutes later, Maryland’s Aiden Bruich was sent off for elbowing to give Johnstown the first power play opportunity of the game. Just 22 seconds in to the man-advantage, Jay Ahearn ripped one by Maryland goaltender Michael Morelli, giving the Tomahawks a 3-1 lead. With 1.7 seconds remaining in the period, Brendan Clark was called for elbowing as well, giving the Black Bears almost a full power play to start the 2nd period and a chance to claw their way back into the game.

Black Bears defenseman Philip Tornqvist scored 57 seconds into the middle period, making it a one-goal game again in favor of the Tomahawks. 4:26 into the period, Stark gets the puck from Gelatt to score another up high on Morelli, making it 4-2 in favor of Johnstown. Both teams were keeping things fairly clean and disciplined in the game until the mid-stages of the 2nd period when the forechecking and hitting began to take place a bit more. With 8:19 remaining in the period, Tornqvist found the back of the net again for Maryland making it a one-goal game again, with the Tomahawks still ahead 4-3. The rest of the period played out with not much noise. Only a penalty to Maryland’s Jack Hillman, which was killed off, sending us to the 3rd period with a lot of action expected to come.

Early into the period, Maryland’s Dylan Findlay was called for holding to give the Tomahawks a chance to extend their lead in the early stages of the final period. While the Tomahawks did not convert on the power play, Ahearn scored his second goal of the game 3 seconds after penalty expired to give the Tomahawks a 5-3 lead. As the period went on, the tensions started to raise with more penalties and some pushing and shoving. There were a lot of penalty minutes in the 3rd, but no more goals scored, ending the game with a 5-3 final for the Tomahawks.

Game 2 against Maryland is tomorrow at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA at 7 PM. Tickets are available online at or through the Tomahawks office.