The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Breaking News

Local Sports

March 9, 2014

Tomahawks drop key decision

JOHNSTOWN — Just two weeks ago, the Johnstown Tomahawks had earned points in five straight games, with four victories during that span.

Not so long ago, Johnstown had moved into a tie for second place in the NAHL North Division.

Since then, the Tomahawks have dropped four straight in regulation and five games overall, including Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Janesville Jets in front of a sellout crowd of 3,721 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

After being swept by the Jets during two home dates, the Tomahawks are in a logjam in the division with seven games remaining.

“We’re in a spot where we control our own destiny and it’s been like that for a while,” Johnstown coach Jason Spence said. “If we don’t pull our socks up, it’s going to be too late.”

The Tomahawks (26-23-4) have 56 points. Fourth-place Janesville (26-23-3) closed within a point of the third-place Hawks, who are five points behind second-place Michigan.

Fifth-place Soo won on Saturday and has 53 points, just three back of Johnstown.

The top four teams in the division advance to the Robertson Cup playoffs.

“This was huge,” Janesville coach Joe Dibble said. “With this team, the Tomahawks, to sweep them is a huge, huge accomplishment.  They’re a good club. They gave us everything that we expected and more.

“Sometimes the bounces just go a different way. For us, we were fortunate enough to get a couple bounces and the hockey gods were looking down on us a little bit.”

Neither team scored in the opening period.

Janesville’s Kyle Patava broke the drought only 44 seconds into the middle period.

The Tomahawks outshot the Jets 17-9 in the second period and had several excellent scoring opportunities during a 5-on-3 power play that lasted 51 seconds.

 “Anytime in a game when you can kill off a 5-on-3 it gives you momentum and gives your team a little more confidence,” Dibble said. “Our goaltender made some big saves and we did a good job of keeping the shots on the perimeter.”

Johnstown’s Shane Cuckovich netted his fourth goal of the season with 1:56 remaining in the second. Zach Wallace assisted on the game-tying tally.

“We did a very good job in the second period,” Spence said. “But we’ve got to be able to do it consistently. That’s been our fallback. We’ve got to be able to get it done.”

Once again, the Jets netted a goal in the opening minute of the third period. This time, Jordan Himley scored his 21st of the season at 46 seconds.

“It’s a letdown when the other team scores right away, but you have to find a way to put that aside and go get a goal of your own,” Spence said.

Dibble can relate. The Jets are on a four-game winning streak. Janesville opened the season at 1-4-1 and later had a six-game losing streak in January.

“At the beginning of the year that was the opposite,” Dibble said. “We were getting scored upon in the first five minutes. That’s something we’ve tried to change. We’ve made a point that the first five minutes, we have to own. That’s something that helped us win both games this weekend.”

The Jets outshot the Tomahawks 31-26. Janesville goaltender Logan Halladay had 25 saves in his 16th win. Johnstown’s Alex Okicki stopped 29 shots as his record went to 19-14-2.

The Tomahawks had their ninth crowd of 3,000 or more this season, and the third sellout.  Johnstown is 3-4-2 in those games, and 1-1-1 playing in front of a home sellout crowd.

“Allowing goals in the first minute. Not scoring on a 5-on-3. Those type of things are letdowns,” Spence said. “We had chances to score. When you don’t cash in those chances they can come back and bit you in the butt.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014

  • Blairsville pegged as team to beat

    As Heritage Conference football coaches assembled at United High School during Wednesday’s media day event at Thomas J. Madill Field, the near-consensus opinion is that Blairsville – under second-year coach Rick Artley – is going to be the team to beat once the season begins on Aug. 29.
    After the Bobcats, the forecasted picture gets a little foggier.

    July 30, 2014

  • tim Baserunning blunder helps Giants end six-game losing streak

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle. What he watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • shazier Rookie linebacker making impression at Steelers camp

    Ryan Shazier grew up the football equivalent of a Rorschach test.
    Some coaches looked at Shazier’s 6-foot-1 frame with plenty of room to grow and saw a defensive end.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greene’s No. 75 will be retired at Ravens game

    Joe Greene’s No. 75 now belongs to the ages.
    The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Wednesday the team will retire the Hall of Fame defensive end’s number during a game against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 2.

    July 30, 2014

  • levon Bell planning to do better

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boilers advance in Pony series

    July 29, 2014

  • Martella’s Pharmacy, LAG name AAABA pickup players

    July 28, 2014

AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide