Dusty Geregach

The Johnstown Tomahawks' Dusty Geregach skates past New Jersey defender Coleman Nee (right) during their game on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial. 

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – New Jersey scored less than a minute into the game Saturday night and never trailed again as the Johnstown Tomahawks couldn’t get much going offensively against the Titans and dropped a 3-1 decision at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.

The Titans (11-6-1) swept the two-game weekend series with Johnstown (7-6-2). New Jersey goaltender Andrew Takacs turned away 24 of 25 Tomahawks shots to improve his record to 8-2-1 on the season, while Anthony Calafiore tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Titans’ offense.

Johnstown was limited to three goals in the series, with none of them coming at even strength.

“I don’t think we played very well five-on-five,” Tomahawks coach Mike Letizia said. “For the majority of the game, we weren’t hungry and we weren’t strong on the puck. That wasn’t our hockey, and we need to fix it pretty fast.”

The Titans controlled the action in the first period at both ends of the ice, outshooting Johnstown 15-3. After New Jersey gathered a loose puck near center ice, Brendan Dumas wristed a shot from the outer edge of the left circle to make it 1-0 just 53 seconds into the game. Calafiore and Eric Charpentier picked up assists on the play.

That was one of many good scoring chances by the Titans in the period, but New Jersey was unable to add to that lead thanks to some strong saves by Tomahawks goaltender Sam Evola and a shot that dinged off the post. Evola finished the night with 35 saves on 38 shots on goal.

With the Titans on a power play early in the second period, the Tomahawks got back into the game when Dusty Geregach and Johnny Ulicny led a two-man break into the New Jersey zone. Geregach beat Takacs on a feed from Ulicny for the short-handed equalizer at the 4:46 mark.

Zachary Murray was also credited with an assist on the goal.

The Tomahawks subsequently killed off two more Titans power plays during the period, but New Jersey regained the lead with 2:51 left in the frame when Calafiore put home a rebound right on the doorstep of the crease off of a shot by Tommy Bannister.

Johnstown outshot the Titans 11-7 in the final period, but could not solve Takacs.

New Jersey got an insurance goal at the 9:03 mark from Rocco Testa-Basi on a feed from Michael Young to complete the scoring.

The Tomahawks will now have a 12-day break before returning home for a two-game series with the Northeast Generals beginning on Nov. 12.

“We’re going to need this time to get back to work, regroup and make sure we reverse this,” said Letizia.

Trending Video

Recommended for you