Maine Nordiques can’t get over a slow start to loss to the Johnstown Tomahawks
Maine Nordiques coach Nolan Howe saw early on that the night could be long against the Johnstown Tomahawks.
The Nordiques gave the Tomahawks four odd rushes in the first five minutes of the game. Then the goals started pouring in when Johnstown beat Maine 6-3 in a North American Hockey League East Division game at the 1st Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, Pa. On Friday. .
“For a lot of our team this is their first trip to Johnstown,” Howe said. “We have to learn some tough lessons early on (in the season). He’s a tough building to play and a tough opponent. When you don’t show up and put in the right effort or the right attitude, things don’t turn out the way you want them to. We need to bounce back, regroup and build our third period and prepare for tomorrow. “
Jacob Badal gave the Tomahawks a 1-0 lead (5-5-1, 11 points) early in the first period with his fourth goal of the season.
Jake Black scored his second point of the game when he scored to give Johnstown a 2-0 lead halfway through the first.
“We were trying to calm the guys down and play our game,” Howe said of the first period.
Johnny Ulicny scored a power-play goal to give Johnstown a 3-0 lead late in the period.
The momentum continued for the Tomahawks when Holt Oliphant scored in the first minute of the second period to extend the lead to 4-0.
Black scored his second goal to extend Johnstown’s lead to 5-0 later in the second period. The goal marked the end of the night for Nordiques goaltender Avery Sturtz (10 saves), and substitute Gus Holt (18 saves) came for the rest of the game.
Stephen Kyrkostas scored the Tomahawks’ second power-play goal after halftime of the second period for a 6-0 lead.
Dom Marcinkevics broke Tommy Heaney’s shutout in the third period by putting the Nordiques on the board. It was Marcinkevics’ fourth goal of the season.
Heaney made 24 saves.
The goal sparked the Nordiques’ offense (5-4-0, 10 points), forward Jonny Miers scoring his first goal of the season with less than eight minutes to play. Forward Zion Green and defenseman Zach Connor collected assists.
About two minutes later, defender Nicholas Bernardo scored to reduce the deficit to 6-3. Forwards Tristan Fasig and Ignat Belov got the assists.
“We challenged their character (to motivate the players), we believe in our character in our locker room, and we challenged them to hold them accountable for the way they played,” Howe said. “At the end of the day, it was up to them to decide how they wanted to react. Did they want to be embarrassed on the road, or did they want to be reluctant and generate some momentum for tomorrow? “
The teams play Saturday night, still in Johnstown, at 7 p.m.
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