LEWISTON — Nick Ahern factored in again for the Johnstown Tomahawks at The Colisee.

The 20-year had a hat trick in the Tomahawks’ 7-0 victory over the Maine Nordiques in an NAHL East Division contest Friday night. Seven of Ahern’s past eight goals have come in Lewiston.

In early March, Ahern scored twice in Johnstown’s 7-6 overtime loss and two more times in a 4-2 victory the following night.

“It’s a rink that I have success, luckily,” Ahern said. “I was just happy to help the boys win tonight. It was huge for our team.”

Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky gave a simple message game to his team after the game.

“Better now than in the playoffs,” Pinchevsky said.


With the win, Johnstown (27-23-4, 58 points), fifth in the Eastern Division, now sits five points out of the final playoff spot. Maine (31-20-3, 65 points) maintains a two-point lead over the Northeast Generals (29-22-5, 63 points) for third place.

“It’s equally as important we get two (points) tomorrow,” Ahern said. “It’s good to get that win, but our focus is the task on our hands tomorrow night.”

Johnstown got solid goaltending from Alec Rajalin-Scharp, who made 26 saves for the shutout.

Ahern scored his first goal of the first period on the power play when Gabriel Lunn’s shot rang the post. Ahern crashed the net, putting home the loose puck with 7:42 remaining.

He said the first goal was his favorite of the night.

“It got the boys on the board and I think it was a big momentum goal for us,” Ahern said. We just rolled from there.”


After a brief power play for the Nordiques, the teams played 4-on-4 and Ahern’s backhander beat Thomas Heaney with 3:27 remaining in the opening period.

Lunn picked up his second assist, along with Johnny Ulicny.

Andrew King had the puck bounce off of him at the top of the crease and go into Maine’s net for a 3-0 lead early in the second period.

“I think we earned a lot of our goals,” Johnstown coach Mike Letizia said. “We put pucks towards the net and they found their way in. I thought we just carried the momentum.”

Dylan Shane’s point shot found its way past Heaney for his first NAHL goal with 2:51 remaining in the second period. David Matousek and Ryan Johnson set the goal up.

Johnstown put the game away in the first two minutes of the third period. Drake Albers skated toward the Nordiques’ net and he roofed the puck past Heaney. Ahearn and Justin Rapp provided the assists.


Less than 20 seconds later, Ahern fired a shot from the high slot and Heaney tried to glove the puck, but it deflected into the net. Ahern’s hat trick goal ended Heaney’s (23 saves) night in the net.

Pinchevsky said the Nordiques lacked teamwork.

“We had minimal communication and I think our care factor was absent tonight,” Pinchevsky said.

Kael DePape came in and felt Johnstown’s offensive attack. Will Moore broke in all alone and faked DePape out for a 7-0 lead.

“I don’t think we gave our goaltenders support,” Pinchevsky said.

Letizia said the Tomahawks couldn’t let up against a solid team like the Nordiques.

“You have to play 60 minutes; they are a really good hockey team,” Letizia said. “We just need to keep going, keep going and keep going. We forced some turnovers playing the right away and scored on our chances.”

Maine struggled on the power play, going 0-for-6, while Johnstown was 1 for 4.

The teams meet again Saturday at 7 p.m. to cap the two-game set in Lewiston.

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