Johnstown’s netminder Josh Graziano stopped all 22 shots he faced to lead the Tomahawks to a 3 – 0 win over the visiting New Jersey Titans to sweep the two-game series between the teams. It was the Titans fourth straight loss and its second longest losing streak of the season.
After a scoreless first period, Johnstown’s Jay Ahearn scored the eventual game winner at 8:08 into the middle stanza. Playing 4-on-4 with the puck inside the Titans zone, the Tomahawks Holt Oliphant picked up the loose puck in the near side corner and sent it to Ahearn behind the Titans net. Ahearn started to skate up towards the faceoff circle and sent a pass back to Max Smolinski at the far side point who took a low shot that was redirected out front by Ahearn and past Christian Stoever to give the Tomahawks a 1 – 0 lead.
Johnstown’s Will Margel scored his third goal of the weekend to double the Tomahawks lead at 4:58 into the final period. Johnstown’s William Persson had the puck behind the Titans net and made a centering pass out front that was intercepted by Josh Rule. As Rule went to pass the puck to a breaking Zach Nazzarett breaking down the near side boards, Margel intercepted Rule’s pass and took a wrist shot that beat Stoever high stick side for his seventeenth goal of the season.
Johnstown’s Max Neill scored an empty net goal with 1:26 remaining in the game to close out the scoring.
Stoever stopped 24 of 26 shots. It was Graziano’s first shutout of the season. Click here for the box score.
As the calendar turns to April, the Titans have twelve games remaining in the regular season, nine of them on the road. They will begin the new month next weekend with a home-and-home series against the Maryland Black Bears and won’t return to the Middletown Sports Complex until the weekend of April 23. Below is a snapshot of their remaining games:
Date Opponent 2020-21 Record
April 2 & 3 Maryland Black Bears 6-3-0-1
April 9 & 10 Maine Nordiques 2-4-0-2
April 16 & 17 Johnstown Tomahawks 4-5-0-1
April 23 & 24 Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks 3-0-2-0
April 29 & 30 Maryland Black Bears
May 7 & 8 Northeast Generals 5-2-0-1