The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Tomahawks

March 29, 2014

Tomahawks clinch berth in playoffs

Janesville, Wes. — 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. The top four teams advance to the Robertson Cup playoffs, and Springfield’s loss secures Johnstown’s place in the tournament.

But first, the Tomahawks have to finish the regular season. They have one game remaining, tonight, again at Janesville.

Springfield and Soo also wrap up their regular seasons tonight.

Fourth-place Johnstown will play North Division leader Port Huron in the first round of the playoffs, dates for which have not yet been announced.

Port Huron shut out Michigan 3-0 on Friday.

Janesville took the early lead against the Tomahawks when Evan Feno scored at 11:05 on a power play.

But Johnstown answered a little more than three minutes later when Casey Linkheld got the puck past Brock Kautz, who faced 30 shots and made 27 saves.

Tomahawks rookie goaltender Brett Young remains winless in the NAHL at 0-4-1. He faced 26 shots and made 22 saves.

Veteran Alex Okicki, who has 21 wins, missed Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. He practiced Thursday, but did not play against Janesville.

The Tomahawks outshot their hosts 15-5 in the first period, but the second was more even with Janesville holding a 9-4 edge.

Johnstown opened the second-period scoring with a goal from Jordan Watt at the 12:48 mark, but Feno got another power-play shot past Young with 17:58 showing.

The Tomahawks took a lead just 2:46 into the third period when Tyler Basham connected. And, Janesville again tied it on a goal by Kyle Patava.

But this time, the Jets stayed out front with a marker from Drew Callin at 16:39 and an open-net score by Jordan Himley at 19:20.

Janesville led slightly in third-period shots on goal, 13-11.

Janesville converted two of four power play opportunities while the Tomahawks squandered four chances.

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