The Johnstown Tomahawks were down by one heading into the third period but scored two unanswered goals to defeat the visiting Philadelphia Rebels 3 – 2.
The Rebels would open the scoring on Aaron Maguyon’s eleventh goal on the season. With the Tomahawks pressuring in the offensive zone, Jensen Zerban intercepted a pass in the slot and skated up along the near side boards with Ryan Patrick breaking into the offensive zone. Zerban passed it to Patrick on his left who immediately passed it back to Zerban. The Air Force Academy commit circled and sent a cross-ice pass to Maguyon who redirected it by Tomahawks’ goalie Kade Phipps to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead at 8:51 into the opening period.
With the first period about to expire the Tomahawks would tie the game. As Adam Peck was skating along the blueline he went to pass the puck up to Diarmad DiMurro but it was intercepted by Ben Schmidling. The Johnstown forward skated along the near side boards and into the Rebels zone. As Schmidling reached the faceoff dot he sent a pass into the slot that was redirected by Mitchell Hale past Rebels netminder Eli Billing to make it a 1 – 1 game with 2.8 seconds left in the period.
The Rebels would regain the lead at 9:54 of the second period. Working the puck down low, Eric Olson would take a shot from in close that was saved by Phipps but the rebound went to the near side boards where it was picked up by Auggie Moore. After making some shifty moves, Moore would pass the puck up slightly to Peck who as at the side of the faceoff circle. Peck saw a streaking Carson Moniz break towards the net and Peck sent a backdoor pass to Moniz who redirected the puck into the back of the net to make a 2 – 1 game.
The Tomahawks would tie the game at two on Haddonfield native, and former Rebel, Carson Briere’s fifth goal on the season. Defenseman Nicolas Appendino had the puck in own far side corner. He went to send a long outlet pass to Ryan Patrick in the neutral zone but it hit Patrick in the skates and the loose puck was picked up by Tomahawks’ forward Joey Baez. Baez would enter the offensive zone and he passed the puck over to Christian Gorscak on his left. Gorscak took a shot that was saved by Billing but the rebound came out to Briere who buried the puck into the back of the net to make it 2 – 2 just 3:26 into the final period.
Gorscak and Briere would switch roles to give the Tomahawks the game winning goal.
Appendino would try and bring the puck out of his own zone along the near side boards but he was stripped of it by Baez and the puck went to Briere who was down low to the right of Billing. Briere sent a shot on net that was saved by Billing but Gorscak tucked in the rebound to make it a 3 – 2 game at the 9:31 mark of the third period.
Billing would turn aside 18 of 21 shots while Phipps stopped 22 of 24. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will be back at it tonight for the second game of this two-game series tonight at 7:00pm.