The Max Kouznetsov-Christian Gorscak-Spencer DenBeste line was dominant Monday night for the Johnstown Tomahawks. Each had a goal in a 4-2 victory over the Maine Nordiques in front of 1,902 fans at the 1st Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Gorscak (Niagara University commit) and DenBeste (Lake Superior State University commit) each finished with three points on the evening.

It was a quick start for the Tomahawks, as 15 seconds into the game Carson Gallagher put Johnstown up 1-0. The lead quickly stretched to 2-0 nearly 90 seconds later when Max Kouznetsov beat Maine goalie Avery Sturtz.

“We thought we were prepared, we liked our game plan,” Nordiques head coach Nolan Howe said. “After we called the timeout after they scored two we held them without a shot the rest of the first, we held them in check.”

Maine forward Tim Kent cut the deficit in half nearly five minutes into the period as he beat Tomahawks goalie Alex Tracy.

“That first line has been great for us,” Howe said. “Those guys continue to lead us in the right way.”

Gorscak, who assisted on the Kouznetsov goal, stretched the Tomahawks (20-10-4) lead to 3-1 midway through the second period.

With under four minutes remaining in the middle period, Nordiques forward Noah Kane put the Nordiques (14-18-2) back within one.

DenBeste recorded his third point of the evening when he scored on the power play 27 seconds into the third period. Gorscak also recorded his third point with an assist, while University of Maine recruit Tristan Poissaint also had an assist for Johnstown on the goal.

“It was kind of a weird goal, it just came out below the goal line and snuck one by us,” Howe said. “We didn’t do us any favors tonight, we lost the special teams battle 1-0. We got called for too many men on the ice, we ended up losing the hockey game.”

Johnstown was 1-for-4 on the man advantage while the Nordiques were 0-for-3.

The two teams again meet again Tuesday night in Johnstown at 6 p.m.


On Sunday, the Maine Nordiques announced Belarus-born forward Ignat Belov has joined the team from the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League.

The 6-foot-3 18-year old had no points in 13 games with Sioux City and the Cedar Roughriders, also of the USHL. Last year he played at Westminster School in Westminster, Connecticut, where he had 16 goals and 10 assists in 26 games.

“I think our league is better suited, he’s a heavy body, he likes to play below the goal line, he has a cannon for a shot,” Howe said. “He may not have received the opportunity at the USHL level that we are certainly going to give him. We are excited to implementing him, he got some shifts 4-on-4 (on Monday) and he will work his way in other situations for us.”

Belov committed to the University of Connecticut back in 2017 and is expected to join the Huskies in 2021-22.

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