By PAUL BURIAK
The Johnstown Tomahawks saw an early two-goal lead slip away Friday night against visiting Port Huron, but the Tomahawks made the most of a two-man advantage early in the third period and came up with a pair of power-play goals en route to a 4-3 win over the Fighting Falcons at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
“We put a quote on the board challenging our guys to allow themselves to be great,” Johnstown coach Jason Spence said. “And we did play great for two of the three periods.”
Johnstown (13-9-1) dominated the first, outshooting Port Huron (15-3-4) 19-5 and grabbing a 2-0 lead. Zach Wallace got the Tomahawks on the board midway through the period with Jordan Watt and Joe Drabin picking up assists on the goal, and Brandon Reinholz later fired in a rebound on the power play to make it 2-0 at the 15:30 mark.
The Fighting Falcons answered in the second, as Logan Lambdin scored twice. Lambdin’s power-play goal just 1:36 into the period was followed later by the tying goal at the 6:03 mark.
“We got outplayed in the second,” Spence said. “We had a lull and they took advantage.”
Johnstown’s fortunes changed in a big way in the decisive third period. After Port Huron’s Alex Archibald went to the box at 2:28 to give Johnstown a two-man advantage, Mitch Hall needed just 14 seconds to give the Tomahawks the lead on a blast from between the circles. Watt picked up his second assist on the goal. Just over a minute later, Matt Meier made it 4-2, with Watt adding his third assist.
Port Huron subsequently cut the deficit to one on Niko Coffman’s goal at the 8:05 mark, but the Tomahawks defense came up big down the stretch, including a penalty kill for the final 1:56 of the game.
“We kept them out of the zone and played really hard,” Spence said.
Alex Okicki turned away 25 of 28 shots for Johnstown, who pulled within seven points of the North Division leading Fighting Falcons.
“We have to get the mindset to give a full effort for all 3 periods,” Spence said.
The teams will face off again at 7 tonight.