• Jon Kohan

Tomahawks Win In OT In Shortened Weekend Due To New Coivd Restrictions in PA

Written by: David Nicoletti

The Johnstown Tomahawks came into this weekend preparing for a two-game series against the Maryland Black Bears. But due to Governor Tom Wolf's new Covid restrictions, the Tomahawks game on Saturday was postponed and rescheduled for a later date. This also affected the games on December 18th and 19th, where the Tomahawks were scheduled to take on the New Jersey Titans at home. Those games have been rescheduled for late March of 2021.

But regardless of all that, we did get to see our Tomahawks play on Friday night before the Christmas season would come in and fast approach. The Tomahawks would wear their white jerseys for this only game, while the Black Bears would wear their black jerseys.

The Tomahawks' starting lineup would include Max Neill, Jared Gerger, and Holt Oliphant out front. With Ryan Poorman and Caden Lewandowski on defense. In net for the Tomahawks would be Sam Evola.

Real quick to mention something for the Tomahawks before we get into the Maryland starting lineup. On December 11th, the Tomahawks have released three players; goaltender Connor Strobel, defenseman Nathan Cox, and forward Mikol Sartor. Also, newly acquired forward Daniel Tkac will wear number 77 for the Tomahawks, as he made his debut for the team on Friday.

Now getting into the starting lineup for Maryland. Their starting forwards would be Luke Mountain, Hunter McCoy, and Josh Nixon. On defense for the Black Bears would be Jack Hillman, and Thomas Jarman. In net for the Black Bears would be goaltender Michael Morelli.

Puck drop was at 7:33 pm, and right off the bat, with only eight seconds into the game, the Tomahawks would be going on the game's first power play. Maryland's Thomas Jarman would be sent to the box for boarding. The Tomahawks almost took advantage as Brendan Clark put it home for a power-play goal; however, the goal was waved off due to contact with Morelli. The Black Bears then killed off the penalty.

The Tomahawks were firing shots on Morelli early, but nothing would go up on the scoresheet just yet. Until 8:49 of the first period as Caden Lewandowski would score his second goal of the season and the game's first goal. Assists would go to John Gelatt and Jay Ahearn. It would be a 1-0 Tomahawks game, and things would stay that way for the rest of the first period. Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 22-3 for Johnstown.

Flash forward to 8:19 in the second period, as the Tomahawks would go up on the Black Bears 2-0 after Reed Stark scored an unassisted goal. The Tomahawks would then go on the penalty kill for the first time in the game, as defenseman David Paluch was called for tripping. Johnstown would then kill off that penalty.

Another Hawks penalty would be called at 13:52 of the second period, as Carson Grainer would get sent to the box for roughing. The penalty was killed, and the second period came to a close with the Tomahawks on top 2-0. Shots on goal after 40 minutes were 41-12 for Johnstown.

The third period was here, and all we would see for most of the period were penalties. The first would come at 4:11, as Max Neill would get called for roughing. Next would be a Ryan Poorman interference call at 7:12. Then Maryland would have their power play cut short at 8:38 after defenseman Cam Gaudette would be called for holding. All those penalties would be killed, but we weren't done yet.

At exactly twelve minutes into the third period, Luke Mountain for Maryland and Max Neill for Johnstown would get called for roughing. Then at 13:52, Maryland forward Daniel Colabufo would get sent to the box for holding. Topping it off with a Max Neill roughing penalty at 15:06. All the penalties were killed, and it would remain a 2-0 Tomahawks lead, but not for long.

Maryland forward Daniel Colabufo would cut the Tomahawks lead in half, ending Evola's shutout at 17:29 of the third period. Assists would go to forward Josh Waters and forward Matthew Shanklin. Then, 59 seconds later at 18:28, Maryland's Josh Waters would score the game-tying goal for the Black Bears, making it a 2-2 game now with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. The lone assist off the game-tying goal would go to defenseman Bryan Higgins.

The third period came to a close, with both teams tied at two a piece. Shots on goal after 60 minutes were 56-22 for Johnstown. We would be heading into a 3-on-3 overtime period, and just like that, it only took 39 seconds to decide the winner. John Gelatt would bury one home for the Tomahawks and have everybody walk out of 1ST SUMMIT ARENA HAPPY. The final score would be 3-2 for your Johnstown Tomahawks.

The game-winner from Gelatt would end the game at around 10:02 pm. Sam Evola would get the win as he would save 20 out of 22 shots. Michael Morelli would get the loss for Maryland as he would stop 53 out of 56 shots.

The three stars of the game would be Reed Stark (one goal) at number three, Caden Lewandowski (one goal) at number two, and John Gelatt (one goal, one assist) would be your number one star. Public skating would then take place for an hour after the game and that would wrap up the night at the Cambria County War Memorial.

As of the end of the game, the Tomahawks and Black Bears are tied for first place in the East Division with the Tomahawks holding down the top spot. Johnstown holds a 8-3-2-1 record with 19 points. In comparison, Maryland holds a 8-4-2-1 record with 19 points.

Have a Happy Holidays everybody! Stay safe and we'll see you all real soon with some more awesome articles on the way.

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