March 10, 2013

Tomahawks Fall, Show Heart (3/9)

The major story lines of last night's game was just how bad the officiating was, and what heart the Tomahawks showed in almost getting the come from behind win.

Jamestown got on the board first and by the type of goal, you just knew it was going to one of those games. At the exact five minute mark, Luc Gerdes, was able to beat Johnstown netminder to give the Ironmen a 1-0 lead. The problem with the goal is that it appeared to be scored with Gerdes hand, a no-no in hockey. The ref wasn't in good position to see the play and the goal counted. The assist went to Evan Ritt. Jamestown would take a 2-0 lead towards the end of the period when Ross Pavek scored on the power play, with the assist going to Victor Johansson.

The first period saw two fights. The first fight happened right in front of Jamestown's bench as Cody Boyd came to the aid of teammate, Andrew McDonald, who was being pined to the ice by Jamestown's Ryan Urso. Both Boyd and Urso received only, five minutes for fighting.

The second fight of the game was between Jake Fairchild and Joe Mottiqua, both of whom also fought each other the night before. The play was blown dead at Truehl's net when a small pushing match started. Mottiqua got a quick jab on Fairchild, which lead Fairchild to drop the gloves and get several punches on Mottiqua before he was able to get his gloves off. After the linesmen broke up the fight, the two players continued to yell at each other until leaving the ice.

Fairchild was already getting a two minute high stick on the play but also received two for instigating, five for fighting, and a game misconduct. Mottiqua got himself a two minute for cross checking, five for fighting, and a ten minute misconduct.

The Tomahawks were already playing shorthanded before the game started. The scratches for the Tomahawks were, Cody Gylling, Connor Wright, Jaycob McCombs, Corey Schafer, and Dakoda Menslage. After Fairchild was ejected, Johnstown was down a defenseman.

The only goal of the second period went to Jamestown, to give them a 3-0 lead. Ryan Doucet scored the unassisted goal for the Ironmen.

Later in the period as Matt Williams was making a play towards the net, he lost his edge and violently went hard into the boards, just behind the net. It took him several minutes to get back on his feet, and he did it with the help of the trainer and a fellow teammate. While laying on the ice the ref did not whistle the play dead and aloud Jamestown to skate up the ice with the puck and have a scoring chance. Williams did not return to the game. With Williams now out, the Tomahawks found themselves missing seven players from their line up. The bench was getting smaller and smaller.

After a bad call on Andrew McDonald for hooking, Jordan Watt got rug up with a ten minute misconduct for Abuse of Officials. For the next ten minutes, at least, Johnstown would now be down nine players. But only minutes later, Johnstown found themselves down two more.

As Casey Nelson was getting a loose puck from the corner in his defensive end, Elliot Tisdale cross checked Nelson, sending him head first into the wall. Ian Spencer quickly came to the aid of Nelson, jumping on Tisdale and fighting him while laying on the ice. Casey Nelson had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game. Tisdale was given five minutes for cross checking and a game misconduct. Spencer was given, two minutes for instigating, five for fighting, and a game misconduct. The Tomahawks now saw themselves down eleven players.

(above picture is from Fairchild's fight on Friday night.)

As the clock ran to zero to end the second period, Mitch Kontny was kneed at his own blue line and went to the ice. This lead to an almost brawl but with only a few players left in the game, Johnstown just couldn't take the chance of losing more players. Kontny had to be help off the ice, and wasn't able to put any weight on his leg. Minx for Jamestown was only given two minutes for kneeing.

When the third period started, Kontny came back onto the ice, he wasn't able to put great weight on his leg but showed tons of heart and leadership playing with the injury. With the Tomahawks down in the game 3-0, with four players either injured or thrown out of the game, the team began to battle back.

Johnstown finally got on the board when Andrew McDonald sped down the right side of the ice and fired a wrist shot, five hole, past Jamestown's Joe Ballmer. The goal was an unassisted effort. A few moments later Johnstown found the back of the net again. JB Baker scored a wide open night from the middle of the faceoff circles to make the game 3-2. The assists went to Zach Wallace and Jesse Kessler.

Johnstown continued to battle and out shoot Jamestown in the third period, 16-3.

In the final minute with the goalie pulled, Johnstown mounted even more pressure, coming inches away from tying the game up. Mitch Kontny had the puck on his stick in the slot. He cocked his stick back ready to pull the trigger, and as the went to fire the puck, he was hooked around the waist and fell down. The fans cheered as everyone in the building knew that the Tomahawks were going to get that power play they needed, but the ref decided not to call the hooking penalty. The last remaining time ticked away quickly and the buzzer sounded.

Johnstown out shot Jamestown in the game 32-24. Jamestown went 1 for 5 on the power play, and Johnstown was 0 for 3.

Chris Truehl picked up the loss but played a great game. He made 21 saves on 24 shots. He record now goes to 14-10-6, with a GAA of 2.49 and a save percentage of .918.

Joe Ballmer picked up the win for the Ironmen making 30 saves on 32 shots. His record improves to 6-2-0, with a GAA of 2.46 and a save percentage of .923.

The Tomahawks set a record for most people to see a Johnstown Tomahawks' game with,  3,825 in attendance.

TheTomablog's Three Stars of the Game:

3- JB Baker-Johnstown- Scored the 'Hawks second goal of the game. He had several big hits, and was able to draw a good penalty in the game.
2- Ryan Doucet- Jamestown- Scored the Ironmen's third goal of the game, which was the game winner.
1- Joe Ballmer- Jamestown- Was the only reason, in the third period, that Jamestown didn't lose the game.

North Division Scoreboard:

Port Huron 4
Kalamazoo 3 F Boxscore

Springfield 1
Michigan 0 F Boxscore

Janesville 0
Soo 2 F Boxscore


No games

North Division Standings:


Looking Ahead:

The Tomahawks have the next week off. Then they'll visit Kalamazoo on March 23-24. The following weekend the Tomahawks will head to Jamestown to once again take on the Ironmen, March 29-30.

Johnstown needs to only get one more point to make the playoffs. If the Tomahawks can make the playoffs and have the fourth seed, they'll play the "play in" round with home ice advantage.

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