JOHNSTOWN - Bishop Guilfoyle's run through the Laurel Mountain Hockey League playoffs ended Wednesday night with a hard-fought 4-2 loss to Johnstown.
Trailing by a goal with less than four minutes to play, Bishop Guilfoyle took two costly penalties.
The first, a roughing call with 3:49 to play, and 1:34 later, a tripping call put the Marauders down two guys.
"We got the two penalty calls at the end, they killed us," BG assistant coach Steffan Langguth said. "We hit a post, a crossbar. If a couple things go the other way, it's a different story."
Bishop Guilfoyle coach John Antesberger credited his players and assistant coaches with the good season.
"We feel pretty good," Langguth said. "Especially with this game, the way we finished. The third period was probably our best period of the season. Obviously, we're disappointed with the loss. We played a good team and they beat us. They're a good team."
After Bishop Guilfoyle killed the first of the two late penalties, the Marauders pulled their goalie to make it 5-on-5. Johnstown goaltender Zach Shearman had to make three of his 23 saves to seal the win.
"We knew we had to score," Langguth said. "We pulled our goalie pretty early. We knew there was no holding back. No reason to save it."
The Marauders led half way through the first period, but just couldn't keep pace with the defending champions.
Bishop Guilfoyle seemed to be the more physical team, but Johnstown never backed down.
"They're a much improved team from earlier in the season. They came out hard, they came out motivated," Johnstown coach Sean McTighe said. "They have a lot of young guys that have a lot of jump, and they jumped on us early. We battled and kept working hard."
Johnstown struck first on forward Devin Smith's first tally of the evening. Defenseman Derek Mullen's shot from the point bounced in front of Bishop Guilfoyle goaltender Alex Clarke long enough for Trojans forward Denzel Sullivan to get a shot at the rebound before Smith buried the second rebound 2:06 into the game.
One second after Bishop Guilfoyle's first power play ended, Marauders forward Shane Kaschalk wristed home a pass from defenseman Fredrik Eriksson to knot the game at 1 with 7:25 left in the first. Bishop Guilfoyle's Milo Defay scored 1:10 later to give the visitors their only lead of the game.
Smith tied the game at 2 with his second goal of the night with 4:40 left in the first period. Smithcompleted his hat trick 6:10 into the second period with the eventual game-winning goal.
"He was motivated, he had a really good jump in his step," McTighe said of Smith. "He was outstanding."
Trojans defenseman Tre Pridgen scored the power-play empty net goal to set the final.
Bishop Guilfoyle's first line is made up of two freshmen and an eighth grader.
"The future is looking good," Langguth said. "The younger guys are only going to get better."
Johnstown will meet Richland a 4-3 shootout winner over Somerset at 7 p.m. Friday at Cambria County War Memorial Arena for the championship.
First period-Scoring, 1, J, Devin Smith (Denzel Sullivan, Derek Mullen), 12:54. 2, BG, Shane Kaschalk (Fredrik Eriksson), 7:25. 3, BG, Milo Defay (unassisted), 6:15. 4, J, Smith (unassisted), 4:40. Penalties-Jordan Lonsinger, J (hooking), 9:26.
Second period-5, Smith (Brandon Cheskiewicz), 8:50. Penalties-Cheskiewicz, J (boarding), 5:01; Catcher Cummings, BG (roughing), 5:01; Bench minor-too many men, BG (served by Joseph Dombrowski), 34.8.
Third period-6, Tre Pridgen (unassisted), pp, en, :27. Penalties-Defay, BG (hooking), 14:32; Mullen, J (tripping), 11:44; C.J. Ellis, J (roughing), 8:26; Kaschalk, BG (roughing) 3:49; Cummings, BG (tripping), 2:15.
Power-play opportunities-Bishop Guilfoyle 0-for-3; Johnstown 0-for-3.
Shots on goal: Bishop Guilfoyle 9-9-7-25; Johnstown 10-8-6-24.
Goaltenders: Bishop Guilfoyle, Alex Clarke (20 saves-23 shots); Johnstown, Zach Shearman (23-25).
Records: Johnstown 18-3; Bishop Guilfoyle 13-8.
Referees-Kyler Speice, Mark Purazo. Linesmen-Lou Polonkey, Brent Derofey.