Tomahawks Split Weekend Pair of Exhibition Games
Written By: David Nicoletti
The Johnstown Tomahawks start their ninth NAHL season this Friday on the road against the Maryland Black Bears. This past weekend, they were getting warmed up with a set of exhibition games against the USA National Development Under-17 hockey team.
Saturday’s game received a puck drop time of 7:05 PM. Not long after puck drop, returning Tomahawks forward #23 Anthony Mastromonica recorded the first shot on net for the Hawks a minute and eight seconds into the game.
Mastromonica also registered the first penalty of the night between both teams shortly after his first shot on net.
The Tomahawks would then score three goals in a row. The first was scored by Tomahawks‘ 2020 second round pick and Greensburg, PA native forward #18 Dominic Schimizzi at the 4:36 mark of the first period.
About three and a half minutes later the Tomahawks made it 2-0 with an unassisted goal by Stittsville, Ontario native forward, #22 Matt McQuade.
Before the third goal was scored, a USA penalty was given to Notre Dame commit forward #34 Maddox Fleming. Shortly after, Tomahawks defenseman #27 Liam Whitehouse was given a penalty as well. Making it a four-on-four.
The Hawks would then score their third goal of the night at the 9:43 mark of the first. The goal was scored by forward #48 Reed Stark
The Tomahawks took their 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
The start of the second period would see Team USA register their first goal of the game. The goal was made by Boston College commit forward #42 Cutter Gauthier at 3:43 mark of the second period.
Followed up by a Tomahawks goal scored by forward #10 Jay Ahearn at 9:21 mark of the second period.
Shortly after at, 13:34 into the second, Team USA’s defenseman #40 Ryan Chesley would give the club their second goal of the game.
Thirty seconds later, Tomahawks forward and Portage la Prairie, Manitoba native #19 Max Neill was given a penalty.
Forty-six seconds later, Tomahawks forward Carson Grainer scored a short-handed goal for the Hawks at 14:49 into the second period.
After a USA penalty at 18:30 into the second by Boston University commit forward #39 Devin Kaplan and a Tomahawks penalty by McKees Rocks, PA native defenseman #25 Dustin Geregach twenty-eight seconds later., the second period would come to a close with the Tomahawks up 6-2.
Team USA started the night with goaltender #36 Tyler Muszelik. Before the beginning of the third period team USA switched goalies and head coach Adam Nightingale went to goalie #60 Dylan Silverstein.
Team USA’s comeback was on. As they would attempt their comeback with two goals to start the third period.
The first goal was scored at the 2:48 mark of the third period by Harvard commit forward #44 Marek Hejduk. Followed up a minute and twenty-nine seconds later at the 4:17 mark by forward #45 Jimmy Snuggerud.
USA would however get a penalty at the 7:21 mark of the period. As Michigan commit defenseman #43 Seamus Casey would be the one going to the sin bin.
With less than five minutes left to go in the game, the Tomahawks dodged a bullet as Team USA almost scored a goal. Even though Team USA celebrated on the ice and on their bench as if the puck went in, play was stopped and it was ruled a no goal, keeping the Tomahawks up by two.
Team USA would call a timeout at the 19:31 Mark of the period. But it wouldn’t be enough to help the comeback as the Tomahawks would go on to win game one against Team USA by the score of 6-4.
Former Minot Minotauro and Janesville Jet goaltender Sam Evola was strong in net for the Tomahawks for the entire 60 minutes of play. He made his presence known with great saves while stopping 36 of 40 shots he faced between the pipes.
The three stars of the game were all from Johnstown:
Third star: #12 John Gelatt
Second star: #10 Jay Ahearn
First star: #18 Dominic Schimizzi
All three players are forwards and linemates (at least for this game).
Final shots on goal were 40-29 for Team USA. The game lasted for two hours and sixteen minutes as the final buzzer was blown at 9:21 PM.
Sunday’s game was a game where Team USA was hungry for victory. So ready that they were waiting to go out onto the ice for pregame warmup ten-minutes before the warmup period started.
USA got rolling off to a fast start early as they recorded the first shot on net for the game and started playing good hockey on the Hawks early.
However it would be the Tomahawks that would get the first goal of the game. It would take place at the 2:19 of the first period by Tomahawks 2020 second round pick and Greensburg, PA native forward #16 Jared Gerger.
The first penalty of the game would take place at the 3:12 of the first as Team USA’s forward and Michigan commit #37 Frank Nazar III would be the one sent to the sin bin.
Johnstown would take advantage of the power play opportunity as forward #5 Andrew Murphy would score to give the Tomahawks a 2-0 lead.
Exactly two minutes later, Dominic Schimizzi would give the Hawks a 3-0 lead after picking up his first goal of the night’s contest.
Team USA would break the shutout as Norte Dame commit forward #58 Rutger McGroarty would score to give Team USA their first goal of the night at the 8:59 of the first period.
At first the call on the ice was no goal for Team USA, but after a timeout by the refs to review the goal, it came back as a good goal for Team USA.
It was now 3-1 Tomahawks.
After Brendan Clark of the Hawks was giving a penalty at the half way mark of the period, Team USA would score pulling within one goal of the Tomahawks. forward #24 Brendan Clark would be assessed a penalty at the 10 minute mark of the period. #52 Brady Berard was credited with the power play goal.
The first period would come to an end with the Tomahawks still on top, 3-2.
The second period would begin as Team USA would make a statement early into the period. At 2:09 of the second period Team USA forward and University of Minnesota-Duluth commit #53 Issac Howard would score a goal to tie the game at three.
The Tomahawks started the game with former Topeka Pilot and St. Cloud Blizzard goaltender #1 Tyler Bost. After trying everything he could, head coach Mike Letizia would pull Bost from the net and fill him in with Fairbanks, Alaska native #30 Levi Gho. Gho would then go on to play the rest of the night in net for the Tomahawks.
The Hawks would answer back at 6:35 when Phoenixville, PA native defenseman #15 Ryan Poorman scored to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead.
Another goal wouldnt come till the 17:38 Mark of the second period as Team USA defenseman #43 Seamus Casey would score a goal to tie the game up, 4-4.
Before the period would come to an end, the Tomahawks were assessed with two penalties. The first at 19:21 of the period by forward #81 Carson Grainer. The second would come in the last second of the period where forward #10 Jason Ahearn would be the one sent to the box. The Tomahawks would have to start the third period on a 5-on-3 penalty kill.
Team USA would take advantage of the two man advantage scoring a goal 49 seconds into the third period. The goal would be scored by defenseman #40 Ryan Chesley. Giving Team USA their first lead of the game.
Team USA would then go on to score two more goals. The first one coming at the 8:43 by University of North Dakota commit #59 Cole Spicer. The second coming at 16:14 of the period by forward #45 Jimmy Snuggerud. Team USA now had a 7-4 lead.
Seconds later, after Snuggerud scored for Team USA, Tomahawks defenseman, Liam Whitehouse would be assessed a penalty. This put Team USA up on the power play once again. Team USA would take advantage as Boston College commit #46 Seamus Powell would score the power play goal and give Team USA a 8-4 lead with four minutes remaining in the game.
The Tomahawks were given yet another penalty as forward Max Neill was given the word to go to the sin bin at the 18:45 of the third period.
Team USA would score yet another power play goal with six seconds remaining in the game as forward Devin Kaplan was credited with the goal.
After the goal was scored by Team USA, Jared Gerger of the Hawks would be assessed a penalty putting the Tomahawks on the penalty kill once again for the night with six seconds remaining. They would not score again.
Team USA picked up the victory, 9-4.
Final shots on goal were 34-32 for Team USA.
Goaltender #60 Dylan Silverstein stood tall in net for Team USA the whole night as he stopped 28 of 32 of the shots he faced tonight.
The three stars of the game were not announced.
Overall, it was a great to have hockey back at 1st Summit Arena.
I see a lot of potential in this year‘s Johnstown Tomahawks roster and I would definitely mark them as a favorite contender going into the 2021 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs.
This year‘s roster brings speed, toughness, tons of skill.
This week head coach Mike Letizia will be making the final cuts to this year‘s roster. Once the roster is released, I will be releasing an article to give you all an in-depth look at each player that will be playing on this years Johnstown Tomahawks roster to start off the season.
A lot of these guys are definitely deserving of a spot on this years 2020-21 Tomahawks roster. But at the end of it, who will be the ones that will stay? And who will be the ones that will go? That will be the million dollar question going into this week.
But as we wait and find out, just a quick reminder again that the Johnstown Tomahawks will be opening up the 2020-21 season on the road against the Maryland Black Bears for a two game series. Puck drop on Friday will be at 7:45 pm and will be available to watch via HockeyTV.
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