The New Jersey Titans lost to the Johnstown Tomahawks 4 – 3 last night at the 1st Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial to close out the regular season series between the teams. It was the third time this season the Tomahawks swept the Titans. In all, Johnstown won 8 out of the 12-games played.
Johnstown’s Jared Gerger opened the scoring with 7:20 left in the first period. After the Tomahawks’ Matt McQuade won the draw deep inside the Titans zone, the puck went back to Ethan Webb just outside the near side faceoff circle. Webb passed the biscuit immediately back to Gerger at the point, and the defenseman took a clapper on net that redirected off the body of Titans defenseman Caleb Price and past goaltender Louden Hogg to make it a 1 – 0 game.
With 6:09 remaining in the period, Johnstown’s Jay Ahearn was called for tripping to give the Titans the man advantage. A minute and twenty-one seconds later Blake Humphrey tied the game. After New Jersey captain Jake Suede won the draw deep inside the Tomahawks’ zone, the puck went back to Anthony Mollica at the near side point. Mollica made a spin move to avoid a Johnstown defender and Mollica passed the puck to Nick Seitz who was slightly above the half wall. Seitz skated towards the top of the slot and passed it over to Humphrey at the far side faceoff dot. Humphrey took a wrist shot that beat Johnstown netminder Josh Graziano high, short side for his eleventh goal of the season.
Johnstown regained the lead at 8:01 into the middle stanza on John Gelatt’s 24th goal of the season. After Humphrey missed a shot on the Tomahawks net, the puck went off the end board and rolled up the far side boards to Gelatt just above the faceoff circle. Gelatt skated through center ice and entered the offensive zone on a two-on-one with Reed Stark. As Gelatt reached the faceoff dot, he took a wrist shot that beat Hogg high, short side to make it 2 – 1 Tomahawks.
Matthew Iasenza was called for holding with 3:57 left in the second period. Sixteen seconds later the Tomahawks scored their first powerplay goal of the night to double their lead. Johnstown’s Ryan Poorman took a shot from the far side point that was blocked out front and Caden Lewandowski picked up the loose puck to the left of Hogg. Lewandowski passed to Ahearn who was caddy corner to the net and Ahearn wristed the biscuit over a fallen Hogg to make it 3 – 1 Tomahawks.
Seitz scored with 2:39 remaining in the period to bring the Titans within one. As the Tomahawks’ Liam Whitehouse was bringing the puck out of his own zone, he was pressured off the biscuit by Connor Pelc and the puck went right to Seitz just outside the offensive zone. As Seitz gained the line, he took a wrist shot from the slot that beat Graziano long side for his seventeenth goal of the season.
Cade Penney was called for hooking just forty-eight seconds into the third period to give the Tomahawks the man advantage. A minute later the Tomahawks scored their second powerplay goal of the evening to regain the two-goal lead. After a battle for the puck occurred along the near side boards just inside the Tomahawks’ zone, the Titans Jack Ford went to pass the puck back into the zone but it bounced off a gaggle of bodies and directly to Brendan Clark at center ice. Clark entered the Titans zone and took a wrist shot that went through Hogg’s five hole to make it a 4 – 2 game.
Price would score the Titans second powerplay goal of the game with 8:44 left in the game to close out the scoring. In all, the Titans went 5 for 9 (55%) on the powerplay during the weekend.
Hogg stopped 32 of 36 shots while Graziano turned aside 29 of 32. Click here for the box score.
The Titans will return to the Middletown Sports Complex next weekend for a two-game series against the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. It will be their last homestand of the regular season. The Titans have seven games remaining in the 2020-21 season: three against Danbury and two each against Maryland and Northeast.