JOHNSTOWN - The chilly spring air did little to cool off Jeremy Mowrey and the Johnstown Sir Bills.
Mowrey connected for six goals to power Johnstown to a 13-8 non-league victory over Voorheesville Wednesday at Knox Field.
"I am proud of these guys, we needed that win," Johnstown coach Scott Petrie said. "We played well overall and I think we wanted to win. Though at one point today it really didn't look like we wanted to. We still need to learn how to win and to finish games. It is not difficult on a day like today to give up seven goals just like that."
Johnstown’s Jeremy Mowrey (5) gets past Voorheesville’s Jake Hooker (23) during a non-league match Wednesday at Knox Field in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Although Johnstown (1-1 overall) moved the ball successfully early against the Voorheesville defense, it was the Blackbirds who put the first goal on the scoreboard.
Ben Wilson finished off a long run with Voorheesville's first shot and goal of the game with 2:56 off the clock.
It did not take the Sir Bills long to respond.
Dave Fahr won the ensuing face off and fired a quick pass to Jeremiah Robinson who finished the play tying the game just six seconds after the Voorheesville score.
It took just 14 seconds more for Johnstown to take the lead as Mowrey came from behind the goal to slip a shot past Voorheesville goalkeeper Dillon Haveger for a 2-1 advantage with 8:44 left in the opening period.
Mowrey delivered again for a 3-1 lead with 7:16 left in the period.
Voorheesville closed the gap to 3-2 with 4:45 left in the opening period when Nick Jasinski finished a long run along the left sideline.
Mowrey again responded completing a first-quarter hat trick after Haveger initially knocked down his shot but the momentum carried the ball into the goal, giving the Sir Bills a 4-2 advantage with 1:41 left in the period.
Jasinski picked up his second goal of the period with 1:03 left on the clock to cut Johnstown's lead to 4-3 heading into the second period.
The Sir Bills continued to find open lanes in the Blackbirds defense as Brandon Akey netted a goal 35-seconds into the period, while Mowrey hit his fourth goal with 5:14 remaining. Fahr connected with 6.3 seconds left to help Johnstown shut out the Blackbirds 3-0 in the period and take a 7-3 advantage into the halftime break.
Johnstown's lead grew to 11-3 in the third period as Mowrey added two more goals to his game tally and Fahr hit his second goal of the match along with Marshall Manchester also connecting.
The Blackbirds ended a nearly 22 minute scoring drought when Wilson struck with 2:16 left in the third period to put the score at 11-4 and give the Blackbirds momentum heading into the final period.
Sparked by a pair of goals from Jasinski and one from Pat Sweeney, Voorheesville chopped Johnstown's lead from seven to four, 11-7 with 3:54 left in regulation.
Akey broke the Blackbirds momentum after he was left open in front of the net and fired a shot between the pipes for a 12-7 lead with 3:42 remaining.
Dan Brill cut the Sir Bills lead back to four, 12-8, with his goal with 2:32 remaining, but it was Anthony Mowrey who closed out the scoring and the match for Johnstown, connecting for a goal with 1:15 left on the clock for the 13-8 final score.
"Jeremy [Mowrey] had a great game," Petrie said. "I keep on preaching that we need to be able to recognize and play what they are willing to give us. We were looking at a 3-on-2 most of the game and Jeremy capitalized on it. We needed to push it against them and it worked for us today."
Johnstown out shot Voorheesville 43 to 17 in the match and won 48 ground balls, while the Blackbirds won 26.
Zack Simone collected eight saves in goal for Johnstown, while Haveger collected 12 stops.
Johnstown will open its Foothills Council campaign today when it hosts Queensbury at 5 p.m.
"We have Queensbury tomorrow and we need to have our defense straighten out a bit," Petrie said. "We can not have a lapse against them."