The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 12, 2013

Tomahawks lose in SO for third time in five games

Mike Mastovich
mmastovich@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Tomahawks have been working overtime, but the NAHL team hasn’t had many big pay days after the extra sessions.

The Tomahawks held the lead twice during Friday night’s game against Port Huron at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

But the Fighting Falcons answered each goal and forced overtime in front of 2,086 fans.

As has been the case throughout much of the season, the Tomahawks couldn’t get over the OT hump as Port Huron won, 3-2, in a shootout.

“You’ve got to do all the little things for 60 minutes,” Tomahawks coach Jason Spence said after his team lost their fifth straight game (0-2-3). “Some of the little things, we lost some of those battles.”

Three times in the recent slump, Johnstown lost in shootouts. In two of those shootouts at home, the ’Hawks failed to register a shootout goal.

“We work on the shootout every week,” Spence said.

“It’s one thing we have to get better at.”

The Tomahawks are 3-9 in overtime games, with a 2-5 mark in shootouts.

“I think we just need to bear down on our chances,” said new Johnstown defenseman Mitch Hall, acquired in a trade with Jamestown on Wednesday. “We outshot them. I felt like we outworked them. When the puck was around the crease, we just weren’t there. I think if we bear down, we’ll get them (tonight).”

The Tomahawks and Fighting Falcons (17-19-3) will play a rematch tonight at 7p.m. at the War Memorial. Johnstown closes the weekend with a Sunday afternoon home game against Soo (1 p.m.).

“We want to continue to get better and we’re trying to make moves to give us a better team,” said Spence, whose squad also traded for Westmont product Corey Schafer and added 6-foot-3 defenseman Dakoda Menslagle, 17.

Johnstown defenseman Casey Nelson netted his eighth goal of the season 3:51 into the game.

The Tomahawks skated with the lead most of the first period until Easton Powers scored at 16:39.

Neither team found the net in the second period, but Johnstown’s Zach Wallace scored at 5:55 of the third to make it 2-1.

Less than five minutes later, Port Huron’s Ian Miller tallied to tie the game. Miller leads the Falcons with 25 points and has two goals and four points in five games against Johnstown.

“We’ve got to be better in the defensive zone,” Tomahawks forward Brandon Reinholz said. “We shouldn’t have got there (to a shootout). We’ll come back (tonight).”

Johnstown had the game’s first five power plays, and Port Huron had only one abbreviated man advantage.

But the ’Hawks went 0-for-5 with the extra skater.

Johnstown still is solid overall, converting 36 of 195 power-play opportunities (18.5 percent).

“We didn’t capitalize on the power play,” Spence said. “Pucks seem to be bouncing the wrong way for us and we’ve got to correct that.”