The visiting Johnstown Tomahawks rode the coattails of goaltender Alex Tracey to defeat the New Jersey Titians 4 – 1 last night during the Titans annual Teddy Bear Toss. The loss split the weekend series between the two teams.
Tracey was outstanding in his team’s win, turning aside 38 of 39 shots and having to make several Grade A saves to keep the Titans at bay.
Just 3:39 into the game Johnstown’s Spencer DenBeste opening the scoring. After Tracey made a save, the rebound came out to Christian Gorscak along the near side boards. Gorscak passed it up to Max Kouznetsov at center ice and he passed to DenBeste on his right. The two entered the Titans zone on an odd man rush. Using Kouznetsov as a decoy, DenBeste charged the net and took a shot that beat Titans netminder Arseni Sergeev short side to make it 1 – 0.
The Titans began the second period on the power play since Carson Grainer’s two-minute penalty for hooking with 1:39 remaining in the first period carried over.
Just ten seconds into the second period it rained Teddy Bears.
After the opening draw, Matthew Iasenza dumped the puck into the Tomahawks zone where it was picked up by Mitch Machlitt. Machlitt passed it out front to Michael Outzen who immediately passed it to Ole Andersen on his left. Andersen took a wrist shot that beat Tracey high glove side to tie the game at one.
Immediately following the goal over 250 bears were tossed onto the ice and collected by the Titans squirt A team. The bears are being donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Central and Northern New Jersey.
With 7:35 remaining in second, Gavin Gulash was called for roughing to give the Tomahawks the man advantage. Twenty seconds later Malik Alishlalov gave the visitors the lead. Kouznetsov set up the play at the top of the point and passed it over to Christian Gorscak on his right. Gorscak send a return pass and Kouznetsov and he took a clapper that was saved by Sergeev but the deep rebound came right back to Gorscak who passed it to Alishlalov in the low slot and he buried a wrister past Sergeev to give the Tomahawks a 2 – 1 lead.
The Tomahawks would double their lead with 2:17 remaining in the second period. Chris Garbe brought the puck up through the neutral zone and went to dump the puck into offensive zone, but it was intercepted by Brendan Blair. Blair passed the puck up to Andrew Murphy who entered the Titans zone along the far side boards. As Murphy reached the top of the faceoff circle, he took a shot that beat Sergeev short side to make it a 3 – 1 game.
Kouznetsov closed out the scoring at 6:51 of the third period. After Sergeev made a left pad save, the rebound went into the near side corner where it was picked up by Blair. Blair sent a pass back to the point to Quinn Warmuth and he passed it down low to DenBeste. As DenBeste was knocked off the puck by Brad Zona, the biscuit went to Kouznetsov who took a shot that beat Sergeev short side to give the Tomahawks the 4 – 1 win.
Sergeev stopped 24 of 28 shots on the night. Click here for the box score.
The loss keeps the Titans up by five points over the second place Tomahawks for the division lead, with the Titans having four games in hand. The Titans now will travel to Jamestown, NY to play two games against the Rebels next weekend before the break.