Port Huron, Mich. —
The Johnstown Tomahawks came back from an early two-goal deficit, but Jon Hall scored a third period goal to give the Port Huron Fighting Falcons the 3-2 win in Game 1 of the best-of-5 North Division semi-finals on Thursday night at McMorran Arena.
The Fighting Falcons struck first, as Bryce VanHorn scored 1:39 into the first period. Logan Lambdin earned an assist on the goal. VanHorn netted his second goal of the game with the man advantage at 6:34. Zach Badalamenti and Jonathan Kopacka were credited with assists on the goal.
Later in the first period, Tanner Barnes got the Tomahawks on the board, scoring on a backhand shot between the circles at 16:35.
Just 22 seconds later, Jordan Watt tied the game, firing a shot from above the left circle and past Max Milosek for his team-best 12th goal scored on the road this season.
Joe Drabin and Brandon Reinholz assisted on the Watt goal.
The score remained tied at two, until Hall scored the game-winning goal at 4:13 of the third. Nick Horne and Elliot Tisdale picked up assists on the goal.
Milosek earned the win, stopping 19 of 21 shots. Milosek is 5-1-0 in his last six games.
Johnstown rookie Brett Young took the loss, making 32 saves on 35 shots. The Tomahawks went 0-for-2 on the power play, while going 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Coach Jason Spence’s team has five players with postseason experience playing for Johnstown last season – Reinholz, Mitch Hall, Watt, Zach Wallace and Cody Bentzel.
The Tomahawks and Fighting Falcons play Game 2 at 7 p.m. tonight at McMorran Arena.
The Tomahawks are 9-11-4 all-time against Port Huron, including a 5-6-2 mark on the road.
Last season the Fighting Falcons defeated Johnstown in a best-of-3 first-round playoff series, 2-1. Port Huron needed overtime in Game 3 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena to take the series last year.
The Tomahawks return home to host the Fighting Falcons for Game 3 on April 11.
Individual playoff tickets for all Tomahawks home games are now on sale at the War Memorial box office, all Ticketmaster locations, including www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.