The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 4, 2013

Tomahawks take down Falcons in overtime

Mike Mastovich
mmastovich@tribdem.com

— Shane Bednard had a clear path to the the net and a teammate trailing him in overtime on Sunday afternoon.

The Johnstown Tomahawks forward considered dropping a pass to Tyler Basham as they entered the high slot almost in tandem.

Then, Bednard saw Port Huron goaltender Max Milosek move just enough to provide an opening.

Bednard shot and scored, giving the Tomahawks a much-needed, 4-3 overtime victory over the North Division-leading Fighting Falcons in front of 1,542 fans at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

“The puck came from the corner and it went to their defenseman, and the defenseman fumbled it,” Bednard said. “So, it gave me a wide open lane to take it. I started moving my feet as fast as I could. I kept going. I saw Basham coming in on the right and I was thinking pass.

“I was about to pass it and I saw the right side of the goalie open up,” he added, “so, I just went there.”

The goal provided the Tomahawks redemption after what coach Jason Spence and his players agreed was a lackluster performance in Saturday’s 4-1 home loss to Port Huron.

This time, Johnstown earned the win.

The Tomahawks skated hard from the outset, used the body and created plenty of scoring opportunities while outshooting the Fighting Falcons 45-18.

 “It was a big win,” Bednard said. “(Saturday) we didn’t have the best game. Today we all pulled together as a team. It’s a big two points. I think this is the start of something big.”

Goaltender Jake Moore, brought in from Youngstown in the USHL, stopped 15 of 18 shots to win his first start.

“It was awesome,” said Moore, a 19-year-old from Arcade, N.Y. “The guys played hard. It was a complete team game and that’s what we need.”

Moore arrived in Johnstown Saturday morning. He had a 1-4-1 record with Youngstown.

“I drove four hours from Buffalo. Got here. Skated for like an hour (Saturday),” Moore said. “I was a little rusty at first but I felt like we got it together as a team.”

Port Huron built a 2-0 lead on Zach Badalamenti’s goal that beat Moore high glove side 9:54 into the first, and Logan Lambdin’s power-play tally only 14 seconds into the second period.

The Tomahawks got back into the game when Omar Mullan positioned himself in the slot and took Bednard’s pass from behind the net to score on Milosek 5:56 into the second.

Johnstown’s Josh Bowes passed to Brandon Reinholz between the circles, and the Johnstown captain tied the game with his sixth goal of the season at 10:43.

But Port Huron grabbed back some of the momentum via Noah Batis’ goal just over a minute later.

The Fighting Falcons led 3-2 after two periods.

Bednard was determined to make sure the Tomahawks didn’t squander an opportunity.

He tied the game with a power-play goal 6:14 into the third. Mullan assisted.

Bednard won it 1:06 into overtime.

 “Now we just have to find a way to continue to play that way for 60 minutes,” Bednard said. “That was Tomahawk hockey. We have to find a way to consistently play that way night-in and night-out.”

Johnstown coach Jason Spence said the game-winning goal might be the spark Bednard and the Tomahawks need.

 “Shane knows that he has to shoot the puck,” Spence said. “Sometimes he wants it to be too perfect. He could have so many more goals, and he’s going to have a lot more goals. He’s going to be an elite player in this league.

“He has such a good shot and such good puck possession skills. He has to be confident in shooting the puck wherever he is on the ice.”

After the game, Spence asked his players to recall how badly they felt on Saturday night, and how upbeat they were after Sunday’s victory.

“We actually have never put two bad games together,” said Spence, whose team is 9-8-1 with 19 points. “We’ve always responded the next day. We really need to find a way to do this consistently every night. We need to find a way to get this feeling every night. We will figure it out.

“It has to be something we know, and not hope for.”