February 24, 2014

Johnstown Takes 3 of 4 from Wenatchee, Moves to Second Place in North Division

Tami Knopsnyder 2014 Copyright
Vs. the Michigan Warriors the Tomahawks played some of their best hockey all season and took four out of four points on the weekend. On Friday and Saturday the Wenatchee Wild came to Johnstown and for most of both games, they dominated the play between the two teams.

With that being said, Johnstown came away with three of  four points. There's a saying in hockey, "Good teams find a way to win", and that's exactly what Johnstown did on Friday Night. To follow it up, the Tomahawks battled on Saturday and was able to gain a point before losing the game in overtime.

Alex Okicki stood on his head several times in both games, and deserves a lot of credit in extending the Tomahawks unbeaten in regulation streak to six games.

If the match-up were vs. a North division team, the overtime loss would have hurt more than it did on Saturday night. The three points Johnstown gained this weekend moved them into second place. Point wise they are tied with Michigan, but due to having more wins, Johnstown get's the second spot.

If the playoffs started today, Johnstown would face Michigan and have home ice advantage.

When Michigan came into Johnstown two weeks ago, both teams battled as hard as you'll see two teams go after each other. Next weekend Johnstown travels to Michigan and with both teams now tied in points, we can only imagine it's going to be an all out war.

Before we preview that match-up later this week we have to look at the Wenatchee series.

Jordan Watt on Friday night scored another hat trick, and Joe Drabin scored a SportsCenter type of goal to give Johnstown the 4-3 win.

Johnstown down 3-1 in the game on Friday, showed great heart to battle back, and being a resident of Johnstown Pa, you have to love that work ethic. This team is becoming something special and we hope they continue with their never die attitude.

On Saturday night, Johnstown got the first goal of the game once again, but then Wenatchee turned it on and took control of the game from there.

A story-line that seems to always be present is the terrible officiating. We're not fans that complain only when we get a penalty. The refs continually missed calls on both sides, or made the wrong ones. Everything from penalties, to icings, to offside calls.
Tami Knopsnyder 2014 Copyright

On Saturday night, the worst of them came at the 3:45 mark of the second period. A large scrum broke out behind the Tomahawks net, leading to three ejections, two of which were Tomahawks.

Wenatchee's Mike Coyne was given five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct. Johnstown's Shane Bednard was given five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct. Matt Meier was given five minutes for leaving the bench and a game misconduct.

Only problem, from what we saw, was that it was Meier's line on the ice to begin with, so his ejection is just mind blowing. Did Johnstown have extra guys on the ice? Yes. Cody Bentzel and Dakoda Menslage both were standing at the blue line, in a middle of a line change.

If anything one of them should have been given the game misconduct, since they technically weren't on the ice when the scrum started.

Instead, both Bednard and Meier were ejected, leaving two of Johnstown's top scorers out of the game, down 2-1.

Johnstown though, continued to work hard, and in the third period it was all Johnstown out-shooting the Wild, 13-6.

In the dying seconds, Menslage ripped a slapper from the blueline to tie the game. The building was rocking as the Tomahawks' looked to win the game in overtime.

It didn't work out that way as Wenatchee scored 14 seconds into the overtime period. We had flashbacks of the playoffs last season vs. Port Huron, when the Fighting Falcons knocked the Tomahawks out of the playoffs in overtime.

ALSO: Check out the update Alumni Stats from this past weekend's action.

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