The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


February 2, 2014

Tomahawks chop down Fighting Falcons

PORT HURON, Mich. — The Johnstown Tomahawks scored a pair of third-period goals to beat first-place Port Huron and earn three of a possible four points against the Fighting Falcons this weekend.

Johnstown won 4-2 in front of 368 fans at McMorran Arena after Tyler Basham broke a 2-all tie with a goal in the final period, and Shane Bednard hit an empty net for his second tally of the night.

“We played hard right through,” Tomahawks coach Jason Spence said. “We played 60 minutes. The second period we slowed down a little bit but we continued to play hard and created more opportunities. We were able to bury a couple more than they did.”

Johnstown goaltender Alex Okicki stopped 32 of 34 Port Huron shots. Alex Blankenburg took the loss, with 26 saves in the final meeting of the regular season between the two North Division rivals. Blankenburg now has four regulation losses this season, with three of those losses coming against the Tomahawks.

“Okicki played well, and the guys played really well in front of him defensively,” Spence said. “We limited shots. We gave up zero odd-man rushes both games. The one goal they scored (Saturday) was a back-check situation where we lost a stick. One goal was on a screen.”

Jon Hall put the Fighting Falcons on the board first, tipping a Jonathan Kopacka shot past goaltender Okicki at 6:43 of the opening period.

After killing a 5-on-3, the Tomahawks got on the board as Matthew Meier scored on a sharp angle shot from the right side of Blankenburg at 11:53. Dakoda Menslage and Mitch Hall added assists on the goal.

“Matt Meier played a fantastic game,” Spence said.

Bednard gave Johnstown its first lead of the game, scoring on a shot from the top of the left face-off circle at 15:00. Meier and Josh Bowes each added assists on the goal.

“Shane had a couple real big goals,” Spence said. “He came off the half-wall and put it right over the goalie’s pad inside the far post. That’s a big-time player’s shot. He finds holes.”

Port Huron tied the game in the second period, as Austin Romzek redirected a shot from Nick Horne past Okicki at 8:42.

Basham gave the Tomahawks the 3-2 lead, scoring on a shot off a face-off at 14:33 of the third period. Bednard set the final score at 4-2 with an empty net goal from center ice with six seconds remaining in the third period.

“Basham scored right off the face-off,” Spence said. “That was huge. It helps so much when  you can get that goal to pick things back up.”


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