• Jon Kohan

Tomahawks Fall to Future NHL Talent (USA U18 Team) In A Close Game

Written by: David Nicoletti

Monday afternoon at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA was the scene of the Johnstown Tomahawks taking on the U.S. National Under-18 Team. Johnstown was coming out in their white jerseys, with Team USA coming out in their blue jerseys.

The Tomahawks starting lineup consisted of Anthony Mastromonica, Will Margel, and Alex Gritz out front. With defenseman Caden Lewandowski and Ryan Poorman on the blue line. Followed up with goaltender Peyton Grainer getting the start in net for the Tomahawks.

For Team USA, we have Boston University commit Jeremy Wilmer, Miami Ohio University commit Red Savage, and Boston University commit Jack Harvey starting at forward. On defense is University of Denver commit Sean Behrens and Boston University commit Roman Schmidt. Finally in net for Team USA would be goaltender Kaiden Mbereko.

Puck drop took place at 12:03 pm as we were underway for the Hawks vs. USA contest.

We would get the game started with a couple of penalties before we would see any scoring action.

The first would come with 1:44 into the contest. USA’s Providence College commit and brother of former Johnstown Tomahawks forward Connor Gilmartin, Liam Gilmartin, would get the game's first penalty for tripping.

Next up would be a Johnstown penalty by Holt Oliphant for cross-checking. The time of the penalty was 3:49 of the first.

Fast forward to 9:17 of the first, and we would see a Team USA penalty by Jeremy Wilmer. The penalty would be for a hook. All the penalties would be killed, and it would remain a scoreless game halfway through the period

But Shortly after the Wilmer penalty was killed, at 12:04, University of Michigan defenseman Luke Hughes would be sent to the box for slashing.

The Tomahawks would take advantage of the Hughes penalty as leading scorer John Gelatt would score the power-play goal at 13:24 of the first period. The assist off the Gelatt power-play goal would go to Brendan Clark.

There would then be two Tomahawk penalties to follow after the game leading 1-0 goal.

The first would come at 16:07, as Will Margel would be sent to the box for hooking. But the Tomahawks wouldn’t be on the 5-on-4 penalty kill for long. As 30 seconds later, at 16:37, John Gelatt would get called for slashing. This would put Team USA on a 5-on-3 man advantage.

They would take advantage of the two-man down power play as Luke Hughes would score the game-tying power-play goal at 17:21 of the first period. The assists would go to Northeastern University commit forward and son of Stanley Cup champion Martin St. Louis, Ryan St. Louis. Along with University of Notre Dame, commit forward Sasha Pastujov.

Another penalty would then be given out to Team USA at 19:05 of the first. University of Notre Dame commit defenseman Ethan Straky would be called for hooking. This would put the Tomahawks on the power play yet again.

But the man advantage wouldn’t last long as Brendan Clark for Johnstown would get sent to the box for cross-checking with two seconds remaining in the first.

The first period would then come to a close as we would have a tied 1-1 game after 20 minutes of play. Shots on goal would be 13-12 in favor of the Tomahawks.

The second period would start, and more penalties were to be given out.

With a minute and a second into the first. Tomahawks’ David Paluch would get called for cross-checking. Following that up eight seconds later at 1:09 with a Team USA cross-checking penalty by University of Michigan commit forward Dylan Duke.

Team USA a minute later at 2:15 would score a goal on the power play to make it a 2-1 USA lead early in the second period. Jeremy Wilmer would score the goal. With the lone assist going to Northeastern University commit forward, Jack Hughes.

Moving forward to 9:13 of the second period and we would see another USA penalty be given out. Jack Hughes would be sent to the box for tripping.

The penalty would be killed, and a little later, at 15:34, Liam Whitehouse for Johnstown would be sent to the box for holding.

It wouldn’t stop the Tomahawks from scoring short-handed as Jared Gerger for Johnstown would score at 16:36 of the second period to tie the game back up 2-2.

But Team USA would shortly respond at 17:26 with a goal from Red Savage. The assist would go to Jeremy Wilmer as the second period would come to a close with the score now 3-2 for Team USA. Shots on goal after 40 minutes were 25-24 for the USA.

The third period was here, and we would kick it off with a pair goals, one from each team.

Team USA would score first to make it a 4-2 game. Boston College commit defenseman Aidan Hreschuk would score at 4:29 with the assist going to Jeremy Wilmer.

The Tomahawks would then respond minutes later at 7:06 to make it a one-goal game. Defenseman Dusty Geregach would score the goal with the assist going to Matt McQuade.

Reed Stark would then be penalized minutes later at 10:15 for a slash. The penalty was killed, and shortly afterward, the Tomahawks would tie the game up at 4-4 at 13:01 of the third period. The goal went to Brendan Clark with the assist to John Gelatt.

Shortly later, at 14:45, Tomahawks defenseman Coleman McDonagh would go to the box for kneeing. That penalty was killed, but the Tomahawks would have to go back on the man down shortly later at 17:03 as Liam Whitehouse was called for a trip.

Peyton Grainer would then make some big saves, but it wouldn’t last long until Team USA would respond to the power play. Sean Behrens would score the game-winning goal for Team USA at 17:53 of the third period.

The game would then come to a close at 2:25 pm as Team USA would walk out of Johnstown with a 5-4 win over the Tomahawks. Final shots on goal 36-32 for Team USA.

Both goaltenders played a solid game all day as Peyton Grainer would get the loss for the Tomahawks after stopping 31 out of 35. The win would go to USA goaltender Kaiden Mbereko, as he would stop 28 out of 32 shots all game.

The Tomahawks will now face their attention to this weekend as they will host the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA on January 8th at 7:30 pm and January 9th at 7 pm. Stay tuned for a series preview getting you ready for the games right here on hawks-daily.com real soon.

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