Goaltender Kris Mayotte had seen enough of Jeff Martens’ favorite move during one-on-one drills at Johnstown Chiefs practices.
When Martens was awarded a penalty shot with the Chiefs trailing by a goal against Toledo late in Wednesday’s game, Mayotte was counting on the 6-foot-2 forward to use “The Move.”
“He comes in on his right side. He’s a lefty. He starts to cut to the middle,” Mayotte said. “He gives a little fake to the shot, low blocker, so the goalie starts moving.
“And he comes back high short side. It’s a pretty good move. He does that move on me all the time in practice and he scores all the time.”
Martens used the move to tie the score at 13:11 of the final period. The momentum-swaying goal charged up a Cambria County War Memorial Arena crowd of 2,131. The Chiefs went on to win 5-4 in an overtime shootout after two more nice breakaways by goal-scorers Jim McKenzie and Jonathan Ralph and solid goaltending by Mayotte, who stopped 5 of 6 shootout attempts.
“I’ve been trying that move in practice and it’s been working against Kris Mayotte,” Martens said of the penalty shot. “I was pretty confident with it.”
The extra-round shootout capped a wild game that included four fights and eight regulation goals.
Mayotte won his 10th game while making 33 saves and the Pittsburgh native has
30 victories in two seasons with the Chiefs.
“It was up and down,” Mayotte said of the Chiefs’ penultimate home game before the team leaves for Greenville, S.C., next season.
“It was a rollercoaster. We take a lead but early in the third they were able to get two quick ones on us. We kept battling and that’s the important thing.”
Johnstown’s Bear Trapp and Toledo’s Evan Rankin traded first-period goals, with Rankin netting his 30th of the season. The Chiefs led 3-2 through two after Troy Schwab and Sean Berkstresser scored goals around Rankin’s second of the night.
The Walleye led 4-3 as Scooter Smith and Jonathan Carlsson tallied less than three minutes apart midway through the third.
Referee Tim Mayer called a penalty shot after Martens was taken out near the net.
“I got a nice pass from Jim McKenzie, I went to the net hard and got hauled down,” Martens said. “Fortunately, the ref gave me a penalty shot. The boys really responded after that and played really well.”
Mayotte turned aside Toledo’s first four shootout attempts and the Chiefs led 1-0 after a great move by McKenzie beat goalie Alec Richards in the third round.
“It seems to be my go-to move,” McKenzie said. “You try to find a move and stay with it. I just kind of back-hand, toe-drag. I don’t use a huge curve and I was able to get it upstairs pretty quick.”
The Walleye’s Chris Robertson extended the shootout with a goal in the fifth round.
Chiefs defenseman Ralph netted the game-winner in the sixth round.
“There’s still pride left in this room,” McKenzie said. “We want to go out on the right note. We’re fighting and battling. I guess you could say we’re doing it for the city. We want to send them off on a good note. It’s unfortunate that we’re leaving, but we’re going to work hard all the way to the end.”