Tomahawks Only Collect Two Points During Six Point Weekend Roadtrip
Written by: David Nicoletti
For the Tomahawks, after the Thanksgiving holiday was complete, it was time to get back to work on the ice. This past weekend the Tomahawks would be hitting the road for a three-game weekend series against two opponents. This past Friday and Saturday, they would be traveling to Ice World in Abingdon, Maryland, to take on the Maryland Black Bears for a two-game series. Followed up on Sunday with a trip to Middletown Ice Arena in Middletown Township, New Jersey, for a rescheduled contest against the New Jersey Titans.
Friday's contest against Maryland would see the start of this three-game weekend for the Tomahawks. Alternate captain Anthony Mastromonica would be suiting up in his 100th career NAHL game on Friday to kick off the weekend. Congratulations, Anthony, on an amazing achievement! The 6'3" center would spend most of those 100 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (now the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks); he would suit up in the navy and white for 81 games, putting up a total of 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in his time with the team.
Getting back to the game, the Tomahawks would come out Friday night in their red jerseys as Maryland would be coming out in their yellow jerseys. Johnstown's starting line consisted of Timur Alishlalov, Jared Gerger, and Max Neill upfront, with Liam Whitehouse and Ethan Webb on defense and Sam Evola getting his fourth straight start in net for the Tomahawks. For the Black Bears, it would be Daniel Colabufo, Reid Leibold, and Josh Nixon out front, with Jack Hillman and Thomas Jarman on defense, and Michael Morelli in net for Maryland.
Puck drop was at 6:18 pm as we were underway for game one of this series between the Tomahawks and Black Bears. Just like that, right off the bat, the Tomahawks would be going on the power play only 13 seconds into this contest. Maryland's Thomas Jarman would be sent to the box for interference, putting Maryland on the man down. But the Black Bears would stay strong early in and kill off the penalty.
The first period would consist of six more penalties, three for both the Black Bears and Tomahawks. The first of the six would come at 7:08, as Maryland defenseman Cam Gaudette would be sent to the box for slashing. Maryland would go on to kill off the penalty. Next, Johnstown's Jay Ahearn would be sent to the box for high sticking at 9:17. This was seconds after the Black Bears just killed off their penalty. But almost a minute later, at 10:12, Holt Oliphant for Johnstown would be penalized for tripping, putting the Hawks down 5-on-3.
Johnstown would remain strong on their first set of penalty kills for the game and would go back to even strength, not allowing a goal. Next up, at 12:36 of the first period, Mr. 100 himself, Anthony Mastromonica, would be called for holding. But the power play for the Black Bears would be cut short as Maryland would receive a bench minor for too many men on the ice at 13:53. Forward Conor Cole would serve as Johnstown would kill the holding penalty and go one the power play for less than a minute.
Just before the 5-on-4 power play ended, at 15:46 of the first, Maryland's Thomas Jarman would be heading back to the box for roughing. The Hawks would be on the 5-on-3 man advantage for only a couple of seconds. Maryland would stay strong on both penalty kills, and the first period would end scoreless for both teams. Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 7-5 for Johnstown.
The second period was underway, and more penalties were to be given out. 2:57 into the second, Reid Leibold for Maryland would be called for high sticking. Maryland would kill off the penalty, as we would continue to have a scoreless game. Next, at 5:31, a scrum would break out, and both teams would be playing 4-on-4. For Maryland, Aden Bruich would get a five minute major for boarding, and for Johnstown, Liam Whitehouse would get called for roughing.
About thirty seconds at 6:10, Tomahawks Jay Ahearn would be called for tripping, putting the Black Bears up 4-on-3. Goaltender Sam Evola would make an amazing save before Whitehouse would come out of the box to make it 4-on-4. Ahearn would later come out of the box, and the Tomahawks would be on the power play for the next two minutes and twenty seconds.
They would take advantage and score the game's first goal at 8:40 of the second period. Jay Ahearn would redeem himself by scoring the power-play goal with the lone assist going to Jared Gerger. Just like that Tomahawks were up 1-0 midway through the game. About 30 seconds left to go in the power play, and Johnstown's time would be cut short. Max Neill would be sent to the box for slashing, making it a 4-on-4. The penalty would be killed, and the score would remain 1-0 Hawks.
However, Maryland would finally get on the scoresheet at 13:09 of the second period as Reid Leibold would score to make it a tied game for both teams. Assists would go to Josh Nixon and Thomas Jarman. Moving onto 17:10 of the second period, Ethan Webb for the Hawks would be called for boarding. After two periods of play, the penalty would be killed, and we have a tied 1-1 game. Shots on goal after 40 minutes were 20-15 for the Tomahawks.
The third period would begin, and both teams would be heading into this hungry for victory. We would see nothing happen until the 9:43 mark of the third. Maryland would score the go-ahead goal and have a 2-1 lead on the Hawks midway through the third. Hunter McCoy would score the goal with the assist going to Cam Gaudette.
Maryland would call a timeout at 15:38 to figure out a game plan to prevent the Hawks from scoring a goal. Minutes later, as play continued, Sam Evola would get pulled from the net at 18:50 after minutes of a struggle trying to pull him. Johnstown would go on the 6-on-5 but then call a timeout at 19:13. However, all this wouldn't be enough, as Johnstown would get their first regulation loss of the season, losing to the Black Bears in game one 2-1.
A huge scrum would take place as the buzzer sounded around 8:22 pm, and five penalties would be given out as time expired, two for the Tomahawks and three for the Black Bears. Jay Ahearn would get called for goalie interference for the Tomahawks, Anthony Mastromonia would get unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10-minute misconduct. For the Black Bears, both Aden Bruich and Matthew Shaklin would receive unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10-minute misconduct. Also, Thomas Jarman would receive unsportsmanlike conduct as well, but no 10-minute misconduct for him.
The final shots on goal were 27-24 for Johnstown. Evola would get the loss after stopping 22 out of 24 shots. Michael Morelli would get the win for the Black Bears, stopping 26 out of 27 shots. The three stars of the game would be Jay Ahearn (one goal) at number three, Maryland's Bryan Huggins at number two, and Maryland's Hunter McCoy (one goal) at number one.
Saturday's game would be the scene of game two between the Tomahawks and Black Bears. Both teams came out wearing the same jerseys that they wore last night; Tomahawks in red and Black Bears in yellow.
The Tomahawks starting line consisted of Jay Ahearn, Matt McQuade, and Andrew Murphy at forward. On defense would be Ryan Poorman and Caden Lewandowski. Starting in net for the Hawks this time around would be Connor Strobel. The Black Bears starting line consisted of Hunter McCoy, Conor Cole, and Aden Bruich out front. At defense was Jack Hillman and Thomas Jarman, with Michael Morelli getting the net once again for the Black Bears.
Puck drop would take place at 2:32 pm, and we were underway for game two. But things wouldn't get off the way that we hoped. Only 3:56 gone in the first, a pause to the action was called as the ref would have to call over the rink manager. A door where the Tomahawks go in and out of their locker room was having issues and it needed to be fixed. But after a short delay in attempting to fix it, a decision was made that the game would be heading to a different rink inside of the Ice World.
The game would shift from Rink B to Rink A, and the stream to HockeyTV was temporarily shut off for a bit. But after a long delay, we were back to playing hockey at 3:00 pm. The Black Bears would stream the game on their Instagram account until HockeyTV was back up and running. However, it wouldn't take long as everything was back to normal and hockey was upon us the way we would want it to be.
Johnstown would get the first goal of the game at the 9:46 mark of the first period. Matt McQuade would score his first goal of the season with the assist going to Jay Ahearn. Just like Friday night, the opening goal would go to the Hawks, and we would have a 1-0 Tomahawks game.
Minutes later, after the Tomahawks goal was scored, Maryland would tie the game up quickly as newly appointed team captain Luke Mountain would score the unassisted goal at the 11:06 mark of the first period. There was interference with goaltender Connor Strobel as he went down as the puck went past him, but it was determined that he interfered with one of his own teammates.
Moving on to the 13:35 mark of the first, the Black Bears would be heading to the game's first power play, as Anthony Mastromonica for Johnstown would be given a tripping penalty. But it wouldn't stop the Tomahawks from scoring, as, at the 14:08 mark of the first, John Gelatt would score the shorthanded goal for the Hawks to make it a 2-1 game for Johnstown. The lone assist would go to Brendan Clark. The Hawks would then go on to kill off the penalty, and we were back to even strength.
However, Maryland would be heading back to the power play at the 17:47 mark of the first, as Johnstown was called for too many men on the ice. Forward Mikol Sartor would be the one for the Hawks to serve the penalty as the team was back on the man down. The penalty would be killed as a result, and the first period would end as the Tomahawks were up on the Black Bears 2-1. Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 11-8 for Johnstown. The second period was now underway.
Johnstown would be heading to their first power play of the game at 6:26 of the second period as Maryland defenseman Bryan Huggins would be called for holding. Maryland would then get into even more penalty trouble and would be down 5-on-3. Jack Hillman would check Max Neill from behind and get called at 7:36 of the second. Tomahawks would be on the 5-on-3 man advantage for a minute and ten seconds. Huggins' penalty would be killed, and the Hawks would have 50 seconds left of power-play time remaining. But Maryland would stay strong, and the penalty would be killed as both teams were back to even strength.
Shortly after the penalty kill, Johnstown's Andrew Murphy would score the Hawks' insurance goal to make it a 3-1 game. The goal was scored at the 9:46 mark of the second period with the assist going to Max Neill. Maryland would then respond with a goal at the 12:43 mark of the second. Conor Cole would be the man for Maryland, putting it in the back of the net with the assist going to Cam Gaudette. It was now a 3-2 game for the Tomahawks.
Maryland's Conor Cole would be a part of a 2-on-1 for the Black Bears and would get a shot on net with no one around him in attempts to score his second of the game. But goaltender Connor Strobel would make a huge save for the Hawks to keep it a 3-2 Tomahawks game late in the second period. But before the period came to an end at 19:50, Cam Guadette for Maryland would score the game-tying goal to end the second period with both teams tied 3-3 after 40 minutes. The assist would go to Hunter McCoy as the shots on goal after two were 21-19 for Johnstown.
The third period was underway, and just like the previous night, both teams headed into the final 20 minutes tied and looking for an answer. Both teams got started on fire, the Tomahawks would have numerous chances to score early in, but it was still a tied game for both sides. The Black Bears would keep charging the net, but Strobel would continue to come in clutch for the Hawks, keeping the puck out of the net.
Maryland would be heading back to the power play at the 9:58 mark of the third period. As Jay Ahearn for Johnstown would be called for hooking, allowing Maryland on the man advantage to break the tie. But then, with six seconds left in the Maryland power play, the Black Bears would be penalized, and we would go to a 4-on-4. Forward Josh Waters would receive a hooking penalty at 11:53 of the third.
Ahearn would leave the box, and the Tomahawks would be on the power play for a minute and 54 seconds. Twenty-nine seconds remaining in the Hawks power play, the puck would sneak through the five-hole, but goaltender Michael Morelli would make an amazing save to keep it out and keep the score 3-3. The penalty would then be killed off, and we would be back to even strength.
But penalty trouble wasn't over yet for the Tomahawks as at 14:26 of the third period. Conor Cole would be on a breakaway, and Johnstown's Liam Whitehouse would trip Maryland forward to be called for a tripping minor. Maryland would then take advantage as an alternate captain and Boston University commit Thomas Jarman would score the unassisted power-play goal at the 15-minute mark of the third period to make it a 4-3 game for the Maryland Black Bears.
Morelli would stay dominant in net for Maryland as with 2:34 left to go, a fight for the puck would take place in front of his net, but he would stay strong and keep the score at 4-3 Black Bears. Strobel would be pulled with 50 seconds remaining in the game, and the Hawks would be up a man 6-on-5 once again. The Tomahawks would then take a timeout seconds later, with 32 ticks remaining in the game.
Then, at 19:56 of the third period, Bryan Huggins for Maryland would receive a delay of game penalty and make it a 6-on-4 for the Tomahawks with four seconds remaining. But it wouldn't be enough for the Tomahawks as they would lose to the Black Bears 4-3. They would be swept for the series and swept for the first time this regular season. Final shots on goal would be 33-30 for Johnstown. The final buzzer sounded at around 5:01 pm to end this two-game series.
Conor Strobel would get the Hawks' loss as he would stop 26 out of 30 shots faced. Michael Morelli would get the win once again for the Black Bears as he would stop 30 out of 33 shots faced.
The three stars of the game would all be from the Maryland Black Bears; at number three would be Cam Gaudette (one goal), at number two would be Hunter McCoy (two assists), and at number one would be Thomas Jarman (one goal). Things would wrap up in Abingdon as next up for the Tomahawks would be a road trip to Middletown Township, New Jersey, for a 3:30 pm one game rescheduled contest against the New Jersey Titans.
Sunday was upon us as the Tomahawks would take the near three-hour road trip to Middletown Township to take on the Titans for the final game of the weekend. The Tomahawks would come out for the pregame warmups decked out in their white jerseys as the Titans would come out in their red sweaters. This would be the first contest this season where both teams would meet at Middletown Ice World Arena. As well as the third meeting between the two teams this season.
The Tomahawks would come out with their starting lineup of Jay Ahearn, Brendan Clark, and John Gelatt at forward, with David Paluch and Dusty Geregach on defense and in net for the Tomahawks making his NAHL debut is former OHL goaltender, Peyton Grainer. Some news for the Tomahawks, defenseman and Tomahawks ninth round pick Aiden Ehresman suited up in his first NAHL game this season against the Titans. For the Titans, Jack Ring, Jake LaRusso, and Connor Pelc will be starting out front at forward, with Caleb Price and Tyler Nasca on defense, and in goal for the Titans will be Berk Berkeliev.
We were set and ready to go, and puck drop for this rescheduled contest was at 3:39 pm. Midway through the first period at 11:10, New Jersey received a bench minor for too many men on the ice. Forward Joshua Rule would be the one from New Jersey to serve the penalty. The Tomahawks would be awarded the game's first power play. But New Jersey would kill it as both teams went back to even strength.
Nearing the end of the first period and the Tomahawks would be the first ones on the board. At 17:41 of the period, Jared Gerger would score the game's opening goal with the assists going to Max Neill and Holt Oliphant. It would be a 1-0 Tomahawks lead and that's how we would end the first period. Shots on goal after 20 minutes would be 12-5 for Johnstown. The second period was now underway.
Early at the beginning of the period, 42 seconds into the second, Caleb Price for New Jersey would be sent to the box for hooking. This would put the Tomahawks back on the power play. But this would lead the Titans to kill off the penalty as they would stay strong throughout the next two minutes.
New Jersey would get their first goal past Grainer at 4:26 of the second, as Jake LaRusso would score the goal for the Titans with the assists going to Connor Pelc. The game was now tied at 1-1 for both teams. A minute twenty later, the Tomahawks would get penalized for the first time in this game. Jay Ahearn would be called for slashing at 5:46 of the second period. New Jersey would be awarded their first power play, but Johnstown would remain strong and kill off the penalty.
Both teams would then be headed to some 4-on-4 hockey as the hometown Middletown native John Gelatt for Johnstown, and Tyler Nasca for New Jersey would both get called for roughing. The penalties were called at the 8:33 mark of the second period. But it would soon be 4-on-3 hockey for New Jersey as Jared Gerger for Johnstown would be sent to the box for holding. The penalty was called at 9:19 of the second, and the Titans would be going on the power play. The penalty was killed, and we were back to even strength with the score still tied at 1-1.
Flash forward to the 16-minute mark of the second period, and New Jersey would be headed back on the power play. Johnstown's Ryan Poorman would be called for interference, and the Tomahawks would be back on the man down. However, a minute and thirteen into the power play, the Tomahawks and Titans would be headed back to 4-on-4 hockey as forward Matthew Iasenza for the Titans would be called for delay of game. The Tomahawks will kill off their penalty and be back on the power play for a little over a minute.
New Jersey would stay strong and kill off the penalty as the second period would come to a close with the score remaining tied at 1-1. Shots on goal after 40 minutes were 25-18 for the Tomahawks. The third period was now upon us, and both teams were looking for a go-ahead signal. For the Tomahawks, this wouldn't be anything new to them, as they would be looking for a win to end off this long weekend in their third straight tie heading into the third.
Early on 2:46 into the third, Ethan Webb for Johnstown would get called for tripping. This would put the New Jersey Titans back on the power play once again. But Johnstown, with their strong penalty-killing unit would kill off the penalty once again. Seconds later, the Hawks would catch a break as they would score a goal seconds after the penalty was killed. John Gelatt would get the goal at 5:11 at the third with the assist going to Jay Ahearn. It was now a 2-1 Tomahawks game.
Penalties would then be given out to both sides shortly following the goal. Forward Brad Zona for New Jersey and forward Max Neill for Johnstown would both get two minutes for roughing and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with a 10-minute misconduct. Both teams would remain 5-on-5 as a result of the penalties. Shortly later at 7:07, Jake LaRusso would get his second goal of the game for New Jersey as the Titans would tie the game back up once again at 2-2. The assist from the game-tying goal would go to forward Tommy Bannister, as we would have plenty of hockey left remaining.
Flash forward to 16:47 into the third period and Johnstown would be back on the power play. New Jersey forward Stephen Willey would be called for interference as the Titans would call a timeout shortly after the call. New Jersey would then kill off the penalty as regulation would come to a close with both teams tied at 2-2. Shots on goal after 60 minutes were 36-29 for the Tomahawks. This game was now heading to a 3-on-3 overtime period.
However, five extra minutes wasn't enough as we would be heading to a shootout. Shots on goal after the five minute overtime period were 42-32 for Johnstown. The shootout period was now upon us as Andrew Murphy would score the first and only goal of the shootout for the Tomahawks bar down in round number two. Goaltender Peyton Grainer would have a perfect three for three in the shootout as the Tomahawks would walk out of Middletown Ice Arena with a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Titans.
The game would end at 6:09 pm as the Tomahawks would now move into second place in the NAHL East Division with a 6-2-2-1 record with 14 points. New Jersey would stay at fourth place in the East Division with a 4-5-1-4 with 13 points. Goaltender Peyton Grainer would get the win in his NAHL debut, stopping 30 out of 32 shots. For New Jersey, goaltender Berk Berkeliev would get the shootout loss as he would stop 40 out of 42 shots.
The three stars of the game would be Jared Gerger (one goal) at number three, Andrew Murphy (GWG) at number two, and Jake LaRusso (two goals) from New Jersey as the number one star of the game.
Next up for the Tomahawks will be a two-game series on Thursday and Friday on the road at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine, to take on the Maine Nordiques. We will have a series preview getting you ready for the upcoming series between the Tomahawks and Nordiques right here on hawks-daily.com real soon. So stay tuned for that, and more articles are coming your way soon.