Titans start fast, sweep the Tomahawks

Oct. 31 – JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – New Jersey scored less than a minute into the game on Saturday night and were never left behind as the Johnstown Tomahawks couldn’t do much offensively against the Titans and lost a 3-1 decision at the 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.

The Titans (11-6-1) swept the weekend two-game streak with Johnstown (7-6-2). New Jersey goaltender Andrew Takacs stopped 24 of the Tomahawks ’25 shots to increase his record to 8-2-1 this season, while Anthony Calafiore had a goal and an assist to lead the Titans’ offense.

Johnstown has been limited to three goals in the series, with none of them tied.

“I don’t think we played very well five-on-five,” Tomahawks coach Mike Letizia said. “For most of the game we weren’t hungry and we weren’t strong with the puck. It wasn’t our hockey, and we need to fix it pretty quickly.

The Titans controlled the action in the first period on both ends of the ice, passing Johnstown 15-3. After New Jersey recovered a loose puck near the center of the ice, Brendan Dumas landed a wrist shot from the outside edge of the left circle to make it 1-0 with just 53 seconds left in the game. Calafiore and Eric Charpentier collected assists on the game.

It was one of the Titans’ many good scoring chances during the period, but New Jersey couldn’t extend that lead thanks to some solid saves from Tomahawks goaltender Sam Evola and a shot that took off from the pole. Evola finished the night with 35 saves on 38 shots on goal.

With the Titans on the power play early in the second period, the Tomahawks returned to the game when Dusty Geregach and Johnny Ulicny led a two-man breakthrough in the New Jersey zone. Geregach beat Takacs on a pass from Ulicny for the shorthanded equalizer at 4:46. Zachary Murray was also credited with an assist on goal.

The Tomahawks went on to kill two more Titans power plays during the period, but New Jersey regained the lead with 2:51 left in the frame when Calafiore scored a rebound just outside the crease gate on a shot from Tommy Bannister.

Johnstown outscored the Titans 11-7 in the final period, but couldn’t resolve Takacs. New Jersey got an insurance goal at Rocco Testa-Basi’s 9:03 mark on a Michael Young feed to complete the scoring.

The Tomahawks will now have a 12-day hiatus before returning home for a two-game series with the Northeast Generals starting Friday, November 12.

“We’re going to need that time to get back to work, regroup and make sure we reverse that,” Letizia said.

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