The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


February 2, 2013

Tomahawks surge to another early lead only to watch it crumble

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Tomahawks closed a three-game home stand following a similar, disappointing pattern.

For the second night in a row, the ‘Hawks scored three of the game’s first four goals only to watch the opposition storm back with four consecutive tallies.

Each time, Johnstown scored a late goal to add some drama.

Unfortunately for 2,560 fans in attendance at Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Saturday night, the Tomahawks lost 5-4 to first-place Soo.

That score was identical to Friday night’s setback to visiting Port Huron.

In each game, the Tomahawks built 3-1 leads before falling behind 5-3.

Even in Thursday’s 3-2 win over Port Huron, Johnstown tallied the game’s first three goals and held off the Falcons.

“We have to look at the positives,” Tomahawks coach Jason Spence said of the trend. “You can hang your head for a little while because that’s just natural. But then you have to decide, ‘How are we going to come out?’

“We had won four of six games. Now, we’ve crawled back underneath a little bit. We just have to really fight and get back out of it. We’re still playing hard. We’re still playing good hockey. We’re just not doing enough to get the (wins).”

Soo knows how to finish. The Eagles lead the North Division with 30 wins and 64 points.

“This team all year long has been in these types of games,” Soo coach Bruno Bragagnolo said. “They’re pretty good in these types of games. They just battled and kept whacking away. It could have gone either way. Every time we play this team, these are great games.”

Soo has won five of the eight games against Johnstown. The Tomahawks are 3-4-1 in the series, which included three shootouts (two of those won by the Tomahawks).

“That’s a really good hockey club over there,” Bragagnolo said of the Tomahawks. “They just have to capitalize on the mistakes the other team makes. I think the veterans we have are able to do that a little more than the veterans they have.

“But that’s a good hockey club, a dangerous hockey club. They’ll do well in the playoffs.”

Johnstown’s Cody Gylling scored the only goal of the first period 27 seconds into the game.

Soo’s Eric Rivard tied the score at 3:32 of the second.

But the Tomahawks answered with Jordan Watt’s power-play goal from the right circle, and Cobi Smith-Mass’ successful penalty shot attempt at 18:31.

Smith-Mass beat goaltender Tyler Marble (21-5-3) and provided Johnstown a two-goal cushion while pumping up the crowd.

But with only 48 seconds left in the second, Kyle Froese scored against Chris Truehl to make it 3-2.

“I think the goal we scored right after they went up 3-1 with the penalty shot, that was huge,” Bragagnolo said. “That kept us in the right frame of mind. Then, the third period, I told them whoever wants it more is going to get it.”

Soo’s Alexander Taulien, Brandon Adams and Denver Pierce each scored to make it 5-3.

The Tomahawks had a five-minute major power play that began at 12:29 of the final period in what then was a one-goal game.

But Johnstown managed only five shots during the extended advantage, and three of those came in the final minute of the power play.

Gylling scored with 13 seconds left while Truehl was pulled for an extra attacker. The Tomahawks had one last chance in tight in the closing seconds but couldn’t tie it.

“All in all we played a pretty good game,” Spence said. “We took it to them for the most part. In certain instances the pucks hit the back of our net.

“No discredit, that’s a really good hockey team. They’re in first place for a reason. They take advantage of opportunities. Credit to them.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • ‘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

  • Tomahawks drop Game 1 on road

    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.

    April 4, 2014

  • tomahawks okicki Tomahawks set to open postseason on road

    The Johnstown Tomahawks open the Robertson Cup playoffs tonight at Port Huron hoping to reclaim the form that enabled the second-year team to move near the top of the NAHL North Division a mere six weeks ago.
    Standing in the way of fourth-seeded Johnstown is No. 1 Port Huron, a team that planted itself firmly atop the division and never relented.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Hawks drop season finale at Janesville

    The Johnstown Tomahawks closed the NAHL regular season with a 4-1 loss to the Janesville Jets in front of 650 fans at Janesville Ice Arena on Saturday night.
    The Tomahawks had secured the North Division’s fourth and final playoff spot when Springfield lost at Soo on Friday night, so the game had no bearing on the playoff race.

    March 30, 2014

  • Tomahawks clinch berth in playoffs

    The Johnstown Tomahawks lost a 5-3 decision at Janesville on Friday, but clinched a NAHL playoff berth nonetheless because Soo defeated Springfield 2-1 earlier in the day.
    The Tomahawks began the weekend in fourth place, three points behind Janesville and three points ahead of fifth-place Springfield.

    March 29, 2014

  • Tomahawks’ playoff hopes hinge on next two games

    March 27, 2014

  • Eagles avoid sweep, nip Tomahawks

    The Johnstown Tomahawks battled back from a three-goal deficit in Sunday afternoon’s final regular-season home game against Soo, but a late third-period score by the Eagles sent the Tomahawks to a disappointing 4-3 loss.
    Soo (24-27-7) erupted for three unanswered goals in a six-minute span to open the second period before the Tomahawks (28-25-5) pulled within one heading into the third and subsequently tied it at 5:53 of the final period on a blast from inside the right circle by Matt Meier.

    March 23, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads