The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


December 30, 2013

Tomahawks return to CCWMA with win over Warriors

For 59 minutes on Monday night, the Johnstown Tomahawks put forth one of the NAHL team’s most complete efforts of the season.

The Hawks held a two-goal lead heading into the final minute in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 2,875 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

Then, suddenly, and unexpectedly, the Michigan Warriors scored twice in a 46-second span.

Talk of a potential shutout win turned to thoughts of an overtime battle.

“The guys were buzzing all game,” said Tomahawks goaltender Jake Moore after his 37-save effort in regulation and overtime. “We started out really good. Towards the end, they started getting some chances, but that’s where I come in. That’s my job.

“They got those two quick ones but we didn’t lose any confidence.”

The Tomahawks might have briefly lost their way, but the North Division second-place team rebounded impressively in a 3-2 overtime shootout victory in their first appearance on home ice in 37 days.

Moore stopped all four Warriors’ shootout attempts.

Johnstown’s Tyler Basham scored in the first round of the shootout, and Jordan Watt clinched it with a goal in the fourth round.

“We have to clean up a few things,” Tomahawks coach Jason Spence said. “We did well in the offensive end and made chances. But we gave up a couple chances in the second half of the game that I’d like to stay away from.”

The second-place Tomahawks have 40 points in the North Division, two points better than the third-place Warriors and three behind division-leading Port Huron.

Johnstown hadn’t played at the War Memorial since a 3-2 shootout win over Port Huron on Nov. 23.

The wait for the next home date only will be a matter of hours. The Tomahawks and Warriors will meet again at 6 tonight while continuing Johnstown hockey’s New Year’s Eve tradition.

“The Tomahawks played a heck of a game,” Warriors coach Moe Mantha said. “They played hard. They played in your face. They get after the puck. Our guys will have to make some adjustments.”

Johnstown built a 2-0 advantage on Basham’s power-play goal at 17:37 of the opening period and Matthew Meier’s goal 10:38 into the second.

The Warriors went on a late third period power play. Mantha used his timeout and pulled goaltender Trevor Gorsuch, creating a two-man advantage.

Tyler Groat scored with 50 seconds left.

“The first one, it took a crazy bounce and came right out in front to their guy,” Moore said. “It was an unlucky bounce and he spun around and got a good shot off in the top corner.”

Jon Farkas tied it with :04 on the clock.

“The last goal, the puck came out to the point and the shot got through,” Spence said. “I’m sure he didn’t see it. It was one of those pucks that just had eyes. It was a tough break.

“We’re proud of our finding a way to win. Now, we have to find a way to make sure we end that game before that type of thing happens.”

Mantha said the Warriors created more opportunities late in the game, something he hopes his players do tonight in front of an anticipated sellout crowd.

“It’s an unbelievable atmosphere,” said Mantha, who played four of his 12 NHL seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins and coached the former Columbus Chill team in the ECHL from 1994-96. “A lot of players maybe never, ever play again in this type of environment in front of this type of a crowd. It’s nice to come into an environment like that where you have the crowd and the noise. It’s a hockey atmosphere.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • SRU vs UPJ baseball0418 1 UPJ takes one, drops second

    John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
    Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0417 Pirates power past Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
    Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0417 Jackets preparing for Game 2

    The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
    “It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 17, 2014

  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo