The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Tomahawks

November 24, 2013

Tomahawks toss another loss to Fighting Falcons

Forest Donovan’s first goal as a Johnstown Tomahawk put his team back in the game against first-place Port Huron and set into motion the annual Teddy Bear Toss at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

“It was an amazing feeling, a monkey off the back,” said Donovan, who appeared in his fourth game with Johnstown. “To do it in front of our fans was great.”

Zach Wallace and goaltender Alex Okicki provided the late drama in a 3-2 overtime shootout victory.

Wallace used a couple moves to score the decisive goal in the shootout. With the one-goal advantage in the extra session, Okicki aggressively dove to smother the Fighting Falcons’ final shootout attempt before forward Noah Batis could take a clean shot.

“I love shootouts,” said Okicki, who is 10-5-0 overall and is perfect in three shootouts. “That was my third time doing that (lunge toward the skater) this year and it’s only really failed me once.

“It’s almost a mind game. You see that his head’s down. You go. Other than that, you’ve got to stay calm.”

Johnstown moved into sole possession of second place in the NAHL North Division.

The Tomahawks (14-9-1) swept a pair from Port Huron (15-3-5) to close within six points of the top spot (35-29) in the North. Johnstown passed Michigan (11-7-6, 28 points), which began the night in second but lost 4-2 to Wenatchee.

“It was a huge win, a group effort,” Okicki said. “It was even better to get the four points, the sweep and second place. We’re climbing up on them.”

Port Huron’s Mitch Maloney put the Tomahawks in a two-goal hole by scoring his 12th and 13th goals of the season, once in the first period and again in the second. Jonathan Kopacka and Bryan Yim assisted on both goals.

“We came out slow in the first but we came together as a team and really battled back for it,” Wallace said. “It’s two good teams going at it. It’s going to be a good game when you’ve got two good teams going at it.”

Donovan gave Johnstown some life and pumped up the crowd of 1,745 with a goal at 16:08 of the second period. Joe Drabin created the opportunity.

After the puck hit the net, the fans tossed hundreds of stuffed animals and toys on the ice to benefit local children.

The Teddy Bear Toss was a huge success and an upgrade from a year ago, when the toss started prematurely after an opposing player scored.

“The puck was dumped,” Donovan said. “Drabin rushed it hard into the corner. That pressure made them cough it up right on my stick and I fired it home.”

Wallace put a rebound into an open net after Omar Mullan pressured goaltender Max Milosek during a rush in front as the final seconds of a Johnstown power play wound down.

“The defense played a hell of a game,” said Okicki, who made 31 saves. “The forwards did what they had to do to get the pucks out.”

Port Huron’s Nick Horne scored in the first round of the shootout. Tyler Basham tied it for Johnstown in the second round.

Wallace had the crowd cheering after he patiently moved through the slot, made a couple moves and put the puck past Milosek.

“It’s pretty simple. I just tried to open his legs up and it worked,” Wallace said. “I just slipped it in there.”

Okicki turned away the final four Fighting Falcons shooters.

“Going down early, we bounced back really hard,” Okicki said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Tomahawks
  • Intense camp ends for Tomahawks

    July 28, 2014

  • Tomahawks Camp - Eckenrod Local players in camp with Tomahawks

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mike Letizia Tomahawks hand reins to former assistant

    Introductions? Orientations? Neither was necessary when the Johnstown Tomahawks named their new head coach on Tuesday morning.
    The new guy in charge handled the job for the past month and has been part of the organization since the North American Hockey League team moved to Johnstown in 2012.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAHL coming to Connellsville

    The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the Port Huron Fighting Falcons are reactivating and relocating their membership to Connellsville.
    The team will be renamed the Keystone Ice Miners and will start play next season.

    May 10, 2014

  • spence Tomahawks decide not to renew coach’s contract

    Rick Boyd didn’t look forward to his conversation with Jason Spence on Monday.
    The Johnstown Tomahawks general manager and the NAHL organization had made a difficult and potentially unpopular decision to not renew Spence’s contract as the Tomahawks coach.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spence, Jason Tomahawks won't renew Spence's contract

    The Johnstown Tomahawks will not renew head coach Jason Spence’s contract for the 2014-15 NAHL season, the team announced on Tuesday.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • horizontal hawks Fighting Falcons win playoff series against Tomahawks

    The third period of Game 3 of the NAHL North Division semifinal served as a quick primer of the Johnstown Tomahawks’ playoff fortunes against top-seeded Port Huron.
    Trailing by two goals going into the third, the Tomahawks ramped up the intensity, producing a goal early and a multitude of chances at an equalizer until the game’s final moments when goaltender Max Milosek stopped Jordan Watt’s breakaway try as the Cambria County War Memorial Arena’s horn sounded.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • ’Hawks need a win to survive

    At the moment, it’s not about advancing through the postseason for the Johnstown Tomahawks. It’s simply a case of surviving to play another day.

    April 11, 2014

  • Falcons clip Tomahawks in overtime

    The Johnstown Tomahawks squandered a pair of two-goal leads and fell 4-3 in overtime to Port Huron in Game 2 of the North Division semifinals on Friday night.
    Johnstown trails the best-of-5 series 2-0 and will try to avoid elimination when the series moves to Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Friday.

    April 5, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads