The Northeast Generals salvaged the finale of a three-game weekend series with the Johnstown Tomahawks by rallying from a three-goal deficit and holding on down the stretch to come away with a 5-4 victory Sunday afternoon at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.
After the Tomahawks (26-7-4) went up 4-1 at the 7:31 mark of the second period on Will Margel’s second goal of the game, the Generals (13-26-3) eventually tied it when Alexander Tertshyny scored with just 1:23 remaining in the period. Tertshyny would then tally what proved to be the game-winner 4:44 into the third on a blast from the right circle for his second goal of the game and sixth of the season.
“They (Northeast) never gave up,” Johnstown coach Mike Letizia said. “Credit to them, they did what they needed to do. We didn’t defend the way we needed to.”
The defeat snapped a six-game winning streak for the Tomahawks and was just their second loss of the year on home ice after 17 straight victories at 1st Summit Arena.
In addition to Tertshyny’s two goals, the Generals also got a hat trick from Jonathan Young and three assists from David Andreychuk, while goaltender Hugo Haas turned away 26 of 30 Johnstown shots to help his squad end a five-game losing skid.
Johnstown controlled the action in the early going, as the Tomahawks jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead. Jay Ahearn tallied his 20th goal of the year to convert a power-play opportunity and put Johnstown on the board at the 8:41 mark of the first period, with Anthony Mastromonica and Caden Lewandowski picking up assists. Nearly four minutes later, Reed Stark put home a rebound from the right of the crease for his sixth goal of the season, as Dominic Schmizzi and Mastromonica were credited with assists on the play.
The Generals then got back into the contest late in the first after cashing in their lone power-play chance of the game.
After Johnstown’s Max Neill got the gate for tripping with 2:32 remaining in the period, Northeast needed just 10 seconds to capitalize as Young fired one in from the right circle on assists from Jake Dunlap and Ryan Gordon.
Johnstown appeared to regain the momentum early in the second period, as Margel made it 3-1 just 1:07 in after a feed from John Gelatt. Neill also picked up an assist on the play.
Just over six minutes later, Margel’s second tally of the game and 14th of the season on assists from Gelatt and William Persson gave Johnstown what seemed to be a commanding three-goal advantage.
However, Young proceeded to score two goals less than a minute apart later in the period to pull the Generals within one.
Young’s shot from the left circle at the 10:22 mark on assists from Andreychuk and Brendan Dumas was followed just 48 seconds later by a rebound of Andreychuk’s shot that closed the gap to 4-3.
Tertshyny subsequently corralled a loose puck in the Johns- town zone and ripped it past Johnstown netminder Sam Evola to tie the game at the 18:37 mark, with Paul Minnehan and Ryan Boczar picking up assists.
“They outworked us,” Letizia said. “Their work created some bounces of the puck that went their way, but they deserved them.”
After Tertshyny’s go-ahead goal in the third following assists by Andreychuk and Dumas, Johnstown had several opportunities to tie the game, but Haas stopped all nine Tomahawk shots in the final period.
One of the best scoring chances for Johnstown was thwarted when Persson was denied by Haas on a breakaway with 1:45 left in regulation.
“We created some opportunities, but it just wasn’t our day,” Letizia said. “This was a game we shouldn’t have lost.”
The Tomahawks will return to action Friday night in the first of a two-game home series with the New Jersey Titans at 7:30 p.m.