Robertson Cup Playoff Time - Tomahawks vs Black Bears - Round One Preview
Written by: David Nicoletti
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s playoff time! The Johnstown Tomahawks for the sixth time in franchise history will take part in the NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs. For round one of their Road to the Robby, the number one division-seeded Tomahawks will take on the number four division seeded Maryland Black Bears in a best-of-five series in the division semi-finals.
ROUND 1 DATES
For the seventh time in their team's history, the Johnstown Tomahawks have clinched a spot in the NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs. But due to COVID-19 canceling the remainder of the 2019-20 season, this will be their sixth appearance in these playoff games.
The Tomahawks' last appearance in the playoffs was rather successful, as Johnstown would sail past the first two divisional rounds and make it to the final four of the Robertson Cup Finals. The regular-season champs and number one seeded Hawks at the time would take on the number four seeded Fairbanks Ice Dogs in a best-of-three series. Johnstown would take game one but would fall to the Ice Dogs in the final two games, falling one game short of the championship game.
Fairbanks would then go on to play in the championship game but would lose to this year’s regular-season champions, the Aberdeen Wings.
For Maryland, this is the team’s first playoff appearance in their third season in the NAHL. The Black Bears have been through a lot of ups and downs throughout the season, but have managed to come together as a team and clinched the number four spot in the division, after a very tight race. With some solid top scorers in the lineup and a solid goaltender duo to build, be on the lookout as this Black Bears team could be full of surprises heading into round one.
TALE OF THE TAPE
The special teams, just like any other series, will most likely become a key factor to this best-of-five playoff round. Johnstown enters this series as the best team in the East on the power-play (7th in NAHL). Maryland’s power-play is ranked dead last in the league, but they do come in as the division's best on the penalty kill (3rd in NAHL). Johnstown’s penalty kill is ranked top 10 in the NAHL, but be on the lookout as anything can happen in the playoffs.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
#2 Maine Nordiques vs. #3 New Jersey Titans
#1 Aberdeen Wings vs. #4 Minot Minotauros
#2 Bismarck Bobcats vs. #3 Minnesota Wilderness
#1 Janesville Jets vs. #4 Kenai River Brown Bears
#2 Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. #3 Minnesota Magicians
#1 Shreveport Mudbugs vs. #4 Amarillo Bulls
#2 Lone Star Brahmas vs. #3 Wichita Falls Warriors