BLAINE, Minn. —
The Johnstown Tomahawks’ busy week concluded on a down note Saturday afternoon.
Rudy Sulmonte recorded a natural hat trick in the second period, including a pair of short-handed goals, and Roman Uchyn broke a 3-3 tie with a goal early in the third as Corpus Christi (Minn.) beat the Tomahawks 5-3 in the final game of the NAHL Showcase for both teams.
The Tomahawks (1-3-2), playing their sixth game in eight days, played the final 2:16 of the game with a two-man disadvantage after referee Cameron Voss handed out 156 minutes in penalties – 89 to Johnstown – as the result of a scrum beside the Corpus Christi net. Defenseman Kristaps Bazevics, whose goal midway through the first period had helped the Tomahawks to a 2-0 lead, drew majors for fighting and grabbing the face mask in addition to two game misconducts.
Johnstown will have two weeks off before playing its home opener Sept. 29 against Michigan at 7:30 p.m.
Although the Tomahawks killed all nine IceRays power plays and got a power-play goal of their own from Jeff Bergh with 42 seconds left in the second period to forge a 3-3 tie, Sulmonte’s short-handed goals were critical to the Corpus Christi (2-1-1) comeback. The IceRays have trailed 2-0 in all four of their games this season.
With Uchyn in the penalty box, Sulmonte converted the rebound of a Perry D’Arrisso shot at 4:37 of the second period to make it 2-1, and 2:41 later Sulmonte scored an even-strength goal off another D’Arrisso shot to tie the game. Then, with Uchyn in the box again, Sulmonte scored a second short-handed goal to give Corpus Christi its first lead.
Those were the first two short-handed goals allowed this season by Johnstown.
Uchyn scored the game-winner at 2:10 of the third after grabbing a loose puck at the left wing half-boards, cutting bet-ween the circles and beating Bodhi Engum with a wrist shot.
Tommaso Bucci closed the scoring at 14:58 of the third when he beat Engum on a breakaway after the Tomahawks were caught in a bad change.
Engum stopped 15 shots while IceRays’ goaltender Jett Salinas made 23 saves for Corpus Christi.
For the fifth time in their six games, the Tomahawks scored first when Bazevics intercepted a clearing pass in the left circle and fired a wrist shot past Salinas at 10:42 of the opening period.
That gave Bazevics three goals and five points for the season, at that point tying him for the most in both categories among NAHL defenseman.
The Tomahawks killed a 1:44 two-man disadvantage midway through the first period, then added to their lead at 16:03 when J.B. Baker scored his second goal of the season off a pass by Cody Boyd on a three-on-one break.
Johnstown, which missed on two brief 5-on-3 advantages in the second period, converted one of eight power-play chances and is now 6-for-38 (15.7 percent) on the season. The Tomahawks’ penalty killers are now 30-for-36 (83.3 percent).
Notes: The teams combined for 208 penalty minutes, 107 to Johnstown. ... Bazevics and Evan Hesse each had four shots on goal to lead the Tomahawks. ... Phil Pietroniro had two assists, four shots and was plus-4 for the IceRays. ... The Tomahawks have been outscored 14-7 in the third period this season.
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