T-D HS Hockey

Johnstown holds off Richland comeback


A four-goal second-period outburst by Greater Johnstown allowed the Trojans to top rival Richland 6-4 on Thursday night at Planet Ice.
Back-and-forth play carried the game over halfway through the first period, when a Richland penalty set up a power-play goal by Nick Farrell to put the Trojans on the board first.
The second period brought new life to the game for the Rams as Jeremy Patula slid the puck in behind Johnstown goaltender Alec Sherriff, knotting the score with 11:14 left in the period. The Trojans’ Vince Walters, however, answered that goal less than 3 minutes later with a slap shot to give Greater Johnstown the lead again. Just 55 seconds after that goal, Walters struck again on an unassisted goal to extend the Trojans’ lead to 3-1.
Greater Johnstown refused to let up and 31 seconds later, Devin Smith broke through the defense to wrist in a breakaway goal off of Zach Thomas’ assist.
The Rams battled back after the onslaught of Trojans goals. Bryce Bostian  scored off of the backhand to make the score 4-2 with 4:27 remaining in the period. Johnstown quickly responded again 16 seconds later with Farrell scoring his second of the night, with an assist credited to Walters.
The Trojans ran into penalty trouble towards the end of the second, eventually giving the Rams a two-man advantage, but the Rams were unable to capitalize on their power play opportunities, keeping the score 5-2 into the end of the period.
Johnstown’s head coach Sean McTighe noted, “It’s a character builder when you take that many penalties and you’re short-handed by two men for that long and to stay with it and kill it all off against a great team that has a really potent power play with a lot of offense. It’s definitely a character builder and I’m proud of them for that.”
The final period of the game began with Johnstown commanding the offensive zone. Walters netted his third of the night, a quick shot to the right side to make the score 6-2 with 11:29 left to play.
Even with being down by four, the game was not yet over for the Rams. With 6:10 remaining, James Edsall scored off of Colin Edward’s assist to cut the lead to 6-3. Less than 4 minutes later, Adam Patula got one more past Sherriff to make the score 6-4.
“We weren’t really disciplined in any part of the game. When you play a good team like that and you make mental mistakes, they’re going to capitalize on it and they definitely did that tonight,” Richland’s head coach James Vasilko said. “Their goalie played a good game, he weathered the storm during our power plays and we weren’t able to cash in on our chances. Luckily, we get another at them, so we’ll see how it goes.”
After the last matchup between these two teams ended in a 7-all tie on Jan. 10th, McTighe was pleased with tonight’s win.
“We had a sour taste in our mouth after the last game, giving it away after having the lead like we did,” McTighe said. “And we stayed with it. We got a little tired at the end and gave them a little bit of an opportunity, but we stuck with it and pulled through. It’s a good win.”