The Johnstown Tomahawks defeated the Aston Rebels last night 2 – 0 as the teams split an important two game series at IceWorks. Tomahawks goalie Drew Hotte stopped all 30 shots he faced earning his first shutout of the season.
It was a game where both teams forced each other to the outside to take many perimeter shots. After a back and forth first period with no penalties or scoring, Johnstown got on the board just twenty six seconds into the second period. Immediately after the opening faceoff, the Tomahawks applied “full court” pressure. Donovan Ott intercepted Gvido Jansons pass at the point. Ott passed the puck into the near side corner to Dalton Hunter. Hunter passed the puck to Filips Buncis who carried the puck behind the Rebels net. Buncis passed the puck in the slot to Ott who took a shot on net minder Jack Leavy. Leavy made the initial save but Ott picked up his own rebound and put behind Leavy giving the Tomahawks a 1 – 0. It would ultimately be the game winner.
As each team continued to force each other to the outside throughout the second and third periods, time started to become a factor. With the Rebels already shorthanded, they were called for a bench minor with five minutes remaining in the game, putting the Tomahawks on a 5 – 3. After the draw deep inside the Rebels zone that was won by the Tomahawks, Dom Garcia tried to tie up a couple of Tomahawks behind the Rebels net. Ultimately Hunter came away with the puck and tried a wrap around. Leavy made the initial save but Nick Bruce picked up the rebound and put it into the net giving Johnstown a 2 – 0 lead.
It was the Rebels first home loss in seven games this season. The loss cuts the team’s lead in first place down to three points, although technically, Johnstown has a better win percentage. These two teams will meet again on November 11 and 12 when the Tomahawks will finally get to play in their home opener.
Leavy, playing in only his third game of the season, stopped 22 of 24 shots. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels return home next weekend to play the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights for two games.