Johnstown’s Tristan Poissant scored two, third period goals to lead the Tomahawks to a 5 – 2 victory over the visiting New Jersey Titans.
Just twelve seconds into the game, Spencer DenBeste gave the defending East Division champions a 1 – 0 lead. The Hawks Pavel Kharin won win the opening faceoff and the puck went go back to defenseman Ethan Webb. Webb skated to center ice and dumped the puck into the far side corner where Titans goaltender Patrick Pugliese went to play it. Pugliese tried to clear the puck off the boards but it was intercepted by Carson Grainer and he passed the puck up to Kharin at the bottom of the faceoff circle. Kharin took a shot that Pugliese saved but the rebound came out to DenBeste who slid the puck past the fallen Titans netminder for the very early lead.
The Tomahawks would double their lead 3:47 into the middle stanza. After the Titans won the draw deep inside their own zone, the puck was cleared to center ice where it was picked up the Hawks Chris Trouba. Trouba dumped the puck into the offensive zone and it wrapped around the end boards where it was intercepted by Jesse Lycan who passed it up to Sean Bauchens. As Bauchens skated towards the left of Pugliese, he backhanded a pass in the slot to Nicholas Martino who wristed the puck past Pugliese to give the Tomahawks a 2 – 0 lead.
As with the other games so far this season when trailing, the Titans didn’t fold. Kharin was called for boarding a minute later to give the Titans the man advantage. As the Titans looked to set up the play in the offensive zone, the puck would go back to Brody Medeiros at the point. The Army West Point commit would pass the puck to Kyle Jeffers at the top of the near side faceoff circle. Jeffers sent a cross-ice pass to Shane Haviland at the far side faceoff dot. Haviland took a wrist shot that beat Tomahawks goalie Alex Tracy through the five hole to cut New Jersey’s deficit in half at 5:30 into the second.
With forty-two seconds remaining in the second, Medeiros tied the game at two. Playing four-on-four hockey, the Titans looked to set up in the offensive zone. At the top of the point Medeiros would pass the puck down low to Jeffers at the near side faceoff circle. Jeffers sent a return pass to Medeiros who took a cannon of shot that beat Tracy high blocker side for his second goal of the season.
With the scored tied at two entering the third, the Tomahawks would regain the lead on Poissant’s first goal of the period. Poissant picked up the loose puck in his own end and passed it over to Colin Price on his left. Price skated through center ice and into the Titans zone on a semi two-on-one with Poissant. Price passed the puck to Poissant on his right who tipped it passed Pugliese to give the Hawks the 3 – 2 advantage just 2:29 into the final period.
The Tomahawks would double their lead with 8:45 left in the third. Christian Gorscak picked up the loose puck after a scrum behind the Titans net. Gorscak tried a wraparound but Pugliese made the stop. However, Poissant was on the doorstep and picked up the rebound and put it passed Pugliese to give Johnstown a 4 – 2 lead.
Price would score an empty net goal with thirty-eight seconds left in the game to close out the scoring. Pugliese stopped 22 of 26 shots while Tracy turned aside 16 of 18. Click here for the box score.
The two teams meet again tonight at 7:00PM at the 1st Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial.