Chiefs fall in finale
Johnstown, PA - The Johnstown Chiefs were defeated by the Elmira Jackals by a score of 5-3 Saturday Night in the Chiefs final game at the UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink at the Cambria County War Memorial. The game was Johnstown's last of their 22 seasons in the ECHL.
With tensions high and a roaring sold out crowd a fight broke out between Guillaume Lepine and Russ Sinkewich just over two minutes into the game. Elmira was able to swing the momentum in their favor and got the go ahead goal on the first shot of the game. Wes Cunningham potted his tenth of the season right out in front of the crease with assists from Brendan Connolly and Keegan Dansereau at the 2:55 mark. The Jackals continued to hound the Chiefs and doubled their lead on a goal from former Chief R.J Anderson who was able to swat in a rebound out of midair. The goal was registered at 11:55 with Olivier Proulx and Tyler Donati gaining the assists. The Chiefs were able to fight back on a 4-on-3 power play and brought the game within one at 17:18 in the period. Dan Collins rocketed a shot top left on a quick release to beat Elmira goalie Julien Ellis. Brian Kaufman and Sean Berkstresser registered the assists on the goal. The Jackals were able to answer back less than a minute later. Chaz Johnson scored on a rebound while on the power play. Justin Donati and Mat Robinson were awarded the assists on the play. Bear Trapp almost answered back at the end of the period but was unable to find the back of the net.
Early on in the second period the Jackals continued to keep the assault going in the Chiefs' end. Proulx almost made it a 4-1 game but was denied on a fantastic glove save by Kris Mayotte. However, the Chiefs couldn't stop the entire attack. Chaz Johnson chipped in a crisp pass from Justin Donati for his second goal of the game at the 4:27 mark. Tyler Donati was awarded the second assist. Sean Berkstresser almost cut the lead to two late in the period but was denied on a stumbling glove save by Ellis. The Jackals increased their lead to four on a goal from Justin Donati from right in front at the 19:18 mark with Proulx picking up the assist.
The Chiefs weren't ready to just lie down in the third. Thomas Beauregard almost had a goal on a break but got stoned by a diving save by Mayotte five and a half minute into the third. Just a minute and half later Mayotte made another great glove save in the split on Proulx to keep the Chiefs in the game. Rallying behind the crowd the Chiefs were able to gain some momentum late in the game after a game misconduct to Johnson. Collins scored his second of the game on a one timer that beat Ellis bottom right. The power play goal came in at 18:43 with the assist going to Troy Schwab. Troy Schwab was able to score the last goal in Chiefs history at 19:50 while on a 2-on-1 breakaway. He sniped the puck top right with the assists coming from Jim McKenzie and Luke Lucyk. The game ended with an uproar and a standing ovation from the packed arena.
Mayotte made 38 saves in the loss. The Chiefs went 2-for-5 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Chiefs would like to thank all of their fans, especially their season ticket holders, for years of fantastic support.
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