Johnstown Tomahawks vs Maine Nordiques (10-16-20/10-17-20) Weekend Preview
Written by: David Nicoletti
The Tomahawks are back on the ice at the 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial. This weekend they will host the Maine Nordiques.
This weekend will be the first two of eight meetings between both the Tomahawks and Nordiques this season. Johnstown and Maine met eight times last season. Johnstown won the series as they defeated the Nordiques six times and lost to Maine only twice. None of the games last season between both teams went into overtime.
Both teams played some exciting opening night hockey to start off their 2020-21 seasons. This weekend we hope to see that same exciting hockey as the puck will drop for Friday’s game at 7:30 PM ET followed up with a 7 PM ET puck drop time for Saturday’s game.
To get you ready for the games, here is a look at both teams going into this Friday.
This is the first of four two game weekend series matchups between the Tomahawks and Nordiques. The last time these two teams played, Johnstown swept Maine in a two game series on March 2nd and 3rd defeating the Nordiques 6-2 on the 2nd and 6-3 on the 3rd. Both games were played in Johnstown at 1st Summit Arena.
The Tomahawks come into this series with a 1-0-1 record with three points tied with Maryland and New Jersey for second place in the East. Johnstown split a two game series against the Maryland Black Bears last Sunday and Monday. They came back from a 6-1 deficient to defeat the Black Bears 7-6 in OT on Sunday. While on Monday having a 3-1 lead but losing 4-3 to the Black Bears in OT on Monday.
Goaltender Sam Evola played strong this past weekend for the Tomahawks making amazing saves for the team. He would play a total of 107 minutes allowing six goals in the weekend split.
Forward Anthony Mastromonica leads the team with three goals this season and sits on top of the NAHL leaderboard along with forward Liam Fraser from the Aberdeen Wings and forward Reid Leibold from the Maryland Black Bears for the most goals in the NAHL so far this season.
Forward Andrew Murphy and defenseman Caden Lewandowski are both tied for three assists on the year for the Tomahawks. Both players sit at second and third place in all of the NAHL. Two assists behind Aberdeen Wings forward Clayton Cosentino, who sits on top of the NAHL with five assists.
This will be Johnstown’s ninth home opener in team history. They have a 1-5-1-1 home opener record. They got their first home opener win last season against the New Jersey Titans on September 27th, 2019 where the Hawks won 5-2.
This is Maine's first two of four games that they will play here at the War Memorial. After this weekend's series is over, Maine will not be back in the War Memorial until Fan Appreciation weekend which will take place on April 23rd and 24th.
The Nordiques come into this game with a 2-0 record and on top of the East Division standings with four points. Maine took on the Northeast Generals for their opening weekend series last Friday and Saturday where they defeated the Generals 6-2 on Friday, and 3-2 on Saturday.
Maine is currently into its second season of hockey in the NAHL. They finished last season dead last at seventh place in the East Division standings with a 20-32-2 record. They finished off with 42 points which would be one point short of sixth place which was held by the Northeast Generals.
The Nordiques are led by head coach Nolan Howe who so far has a 22-32-2 record as head coach for Maine. He is joined on the bench by second year assistant coach Matt Pinchevsky.
Forward Tyler Gaulin came off a strong four point (two goals, two assists) weekend for the Nordiques. He comes into this weekend as Maine’s leading scorer.
Goaltender Tyriq Outen and Avery Sturtz were strong between the pipes as they both played the past weekend. Both average a 2.00 GAA while Outen holds a .938 save percentage and Sturtz holds a .943 save percentage. Strutz sits fourth place in the NAHL between all goalies in save percentage while Outen sits at seventh place. Both goalies are sixth and seventh in all goals against average.
Johnstown Tomahawks News and Notes
Forwards Anthony Mastromonica (three goals), Brendan Clark (two goals, one assist), John Gelatt (two goals, one assist), Andrew Murphy (three assists), and defenseman Caden Lewandowski (three assists) sit on top as leading scorers for the Tomahawks. Each player came out of Maryland with three points.
Hawks In Top 10
Tomahawks forwards Anthony Mastromonica, Brendan Clark, and John Gelatt sit sixth, seventh, and eighth in the NAHL with three points, which is tied for fifth place. They sit along with Aberdeen Wings players Liam Fraser (fifth), Thomas Manty (ninth), and Kevin MacKay (18th). Maryland Black Bears players Hunter McCoy (10th), Conor Cole (11th), Thomas Jarman (12th), Aidan McDowell (13th), and Garrett Szydlowski (15th). Along with New Jersey Titans defenseman Tyler Nasca (14th) and Johnstown’s Andrew Murphy (16th) and Caden Lewandowski (17th) all for a 14 player tie for fifth place.
Last Monday during the game against the Maryland Black Bears Tomahawks defenseman Billy Simms collided knee on knee with defenseman Daniel Colabufo. Simms had to be helped off the ice where he was then wheelchaired out of the arena and sent to the hospital. Hoping and praying for a speedy recovery.
Looking for Points
Besides goaltenders Ryan Ullan and Sam Evola and defenseman Billy Simms, Tomahawks forward Carson Grainer and alternate captain defenseman Ethan Webb did not register any points this past weekend in Maryland. Both players will be in search of their first point of the season as they come home for a two game series against Maine.
1st Summit Arena COVID-19 Protocols
The Tomahawks are preparing to open up at home for the first time this season. For the fans, this will most likely be the first time that they have to watch a Tomahawks game socially distant from one another. As the 1st Summit Arena gets ready to host the Tomahawks for the ninth year we will see what they do to make sure that all fans are safe during these unprecedented times.
When I went to the scrimmage games against Team USA, upon arrival they had temperature checks for everyone. Also, fans have to wear a mask around the arena and if they were to take it off it would be only if they were either eating or drinking. Social distancing really wasn’t a problem as most people in attendance were either with close friends and/or family. But once again, we will see what happens and what the Cambria County War Memorial decides to do.
Once again puck drop for Friday’s game will take place at 7:30 PM ET. While Saturday’s contest will start at 7 PM ET.
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Lets Go Hawks!!