The Battle For First Place - Weekend Preview
Written by: David Nicoletti
After taking part in a seven-game homestand at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA, the Tomahawks are hitting the road for the first time since March 5th-6th. This weekend the Hawks will be traveling to Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine for a two-game series against the Maine Nordiques. Puck drop for both games is scheduled for 7 pm.
This weekend in Maine will host the fifth and sixth match-ups between the two teams this season. The last time these two teams played each other was back on December 3rd-4th. The Tomahawks would split the two games on the road against Maine. They would lose game one at a final score of 6-2. But respond the following day by defeating the Nordiques at a 4-1 final score, forward John Gelatt would record a hat-trick in that game.
The Maine Nordiques come into this series after taking two games out of three against the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks on March 26th-28th. All three games would end up being close back-and-forth contests. Maine would take games one and two at 3-2 and 4-3 final scores. But Danbury would score three unanswered in game three, taking it at a final score of 4-3.
The Tomahawks come into this series after sweeping the New Jersey Titans at home on March 26th-27th. They would outscore the Titans 11-1 all weekend, taking home an 8-1 win on Friday night, and a 3-0 win on Saturday night. Forwards Reed Stark and Will Margel would go on to have two-goal nights in game one. Goaltender Josh Graziano would get the shutout for the Hawks in game two.
HEAD TO HEAD - all stats as of 03/29/2021
Johnstown leads season series 2-1-0-1
Maine season series record 2-2-0-0
East Division Rank: 1st
Leading Goal Scorer: Jay Ahearn (21-24-45) & John Gelatt (21-21-42) [NAHL Rank: 3rd]
Leading Points Scorer: Jay Ahearn (21-24-45) [NAHL Rank: 2nd]
Top Goalie: Josh Graziano (8-3-0-2 | 2.06 GAA | 0.927 SV% | 1 SO | 815 MIN)
[NAHL Rank: 3rd in GAA, 5th in SV%]
East Division Rank: 2nd
Leading Goal Scorer: Stefan Owens (17-17-34) [NAHL Rank: 10th]
Leading Points Scorer: Stefan Owens (17-17-34)
Top Goalie: Tyriq Outen (18-7-1-0 | 2.60 GAA | 0.930 SV% | 2 SO | 1640 MIN)
[NAHL Rank: 2nd in W, 2nd in SV%, T-3rd in SO, 4th in MIN]
Josh Graziano - Five-Game Winning Streak since 03/05/2021
Will Margel - 13 Game Points Streak (14 goals, eight assists) since 02/20/2021
Max Neill - Two Game Points Streak (one goal, one assist) since 03/26/2021
Holt Oliphant - Two Game Points Streak (one goal, two assists) since 03/26/2021
Max Smolinski - Two Games Points Streak (two assists) since 03/26/2021
BAUER STAR OF THE WEEK
Congratulations to Tomahawks goaltender, Josh Graziano, on being named BAUER NAHL East Division Star of the Week.
The former Union College commit had a big weekend as he started and won both games to help the Tomahawks sweep New Jersey Titans. The 6’3/200 lbs. native of Buffalo, New York, stopped 41 of 42 shots in the two wins. That included 19 saves in an 8-1 win on Friday, and 22 saves in a 3-0 win on Saturday, which was his first shutout of the season.
Mike Letizia took to state the following about Graziano:
“Josh was a huge part of our weekend success grabbing two wins against a very tough opponent. He was rock solid both nights. Since arriving in Johnstown at the trade deadline, he has immediately adhered himself to our team as a strong, veteran leader. Now that he recently became available again for an NCAA Division 1 opportunity, I think he could be a big add for a team looking for an experienced goalie. We will need Josh to continue his strong play as we move down the home stretch of the regular season and push towards the playoffs.”
Tomahawks forward Reed Stark was also named as an honorable mention in this week's East Division Stars of the Week.