• Jon Kohan

Tomahawks Split Weekend Series - Currently Hold Second Place in Division

Written by: David Nicoletti

For this week, the Johnstown Tomahawks we're back on the road. This time it would be a two-game series against the Maine Nordiques at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. The series would kick off on Thursday with both teams meeting each other for the first time since October 16th & 17th at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA in Johnstown, PA.

For Thursday, the Tomahawks would come out wearing their White jersey while the Maine Nordiques would come into game one wearing their blue jerseys.

The Tomahawks starting lineup consisted of Andrew Murphy, Anthony Mastromonica, and Matt McQuade out front at forward, followed by Ryan Poorman and Caden Lewandoski starting on defense and in between the pipes for the Hawks making his second straight start would be Peyton Grainer.

For the Nordiques, they would come out with Caden Pattison, Tristan Fasig, and Jack Strauss as the starting three, starting on defense would be Jacob Crespo and Casper Söderling, who would be making his season debut for the Nords, finally starting in net for Maine for game one would be Tyriq Outen.

Puck drop would take place at 7:04 pm as we were underway at Androscoggin Bank Colisee. We would see some penalty action early for the Hawks as with only 4:33 into the contest, Johnstown's Jay Ahearn would get called for high sticking, giving the first power play of the game to the Maine Nordiques. But Johnstown, like they do all year, would stay strong on their first penalty kill of the game and get Ahearn out of the box without allowing a goal.

Later on, we would see the Nordiques getting themselves into their first sets of penalty troubles in the period. At the 8:35 mark of the first, Nordiques forward Stefan Owens would go to the box for roughing, putting the Tomahawks on their first power play of the game. However, not even a minute later, at 9:22 of the first, Minsk, Belarus native, and Maine forward Ignat Belov would be sent off for slashing, putting the Tomahawks up 5-on-3. Maine would then kill both penalties, and we would remain scoreless halfway through the first period.

Later on, at 15:10 into the first period, Johnstown would be back on the man down as Max Neill would be sent to the box for slashing. Maine would then take advantage on the power play to score the game's first goal. Nordiques forward Makem Demers in his season debut, would get the power-play goal for the Nords with the assist going to forward Cannon Green. The first period would then come to a close with the Nordiques on top 1-0. Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 19-7 for the Tomahawks.

The second period was now underway, and right off the bat, the Nordiques would climb to a 2-0 lead over the Tomahawks. Nordique defenseman Luke Antonacci would get the unassisted goal with only 47 seconds into the start of the second.

Next, up later in the period at 5:34, the Tomahawks would be looking for an answer as they would be back on the power play with Nordiques forward Connor Wood getting a penalty for checking from behind. However, that power play would be cut short a minute and five seconds later, as Max Neill would be sent to the box once again at 6:29 for a slash. All the penalties would be killed off, and the Nordiques would hold their lead over the Tomahawks 2-0.

Seconds later, after both teams were back to even strength, the Tomahawks would be back on the man down once again, as this time alternate captain Liam Whitehouse would be sent to the box for high sticking. The Nords were back on the man advantage, but Johnstown would remain strong and kill off the penalty.

Nearing the end of the second period at 17:42, the Nords would score to go up 3-0 on the Johnstown Tomahawks. Forward Aidan Connolly would get the goal with the assists going to forward Connor Wood and defenseman Jacob Crespo. The second period would then come to a close, with Maine on top over Johnstown 3-0. Shots on goal after 40 minutes were 38-14 for Johnstown.

We would see a goaltending change for the Hawks before starting the final 20 minutes of play. Sam Evola would now be in net for the Tomahawks to fill in for Peyton Grainer. Grainer would end up the night, stopping 11 out of 14 shots faced in his 40 minutes between the pipes.

The Hawks would respond to the change as with only 41 seconds into the third period, Holt Olphant would score his second goal of the season with the assist going to Max Neill. It was now a 3-1 Nordiques game early into the third.

Moving forward at the 8:01 mark of the third period, the Tomahawks would be back on the power play as the University of Maine commit Tyler Gaulin would be sent to the box for boarding. However, it wouldn't stop the Nordiques from scoring a short-handed goal at the 9:16 mark of the third. Tristan Fasig for Maine would get the unassisted short-handed goal for the team, as it was now a 4-1 Nordiques game following the short-handed goal. The Nords would eventually kill Gaulin's penalty.

Seconds after the penalty kill at 11:07 of the third, the Skogas, Sweden native Casper Söderling would score his first goal of the season in his season debut with the assist going to Nords forward Reese Farrell. The Maine Nordiques were now on top 5-1.

Around the 12:41 and 12:51 mark, we would get some penalties from both teams. First, Brendan Clark for the Tomahawks would be called for cross-checking. Then, Stefan Owens for the Nordiques would be called for an unsportsmanlike conduct. As a result, we would have some 4-on-4 hockey for the next two minutes. But the score would still remain 5-1 Maine after both players for both teams left the box to put their team back on even strength.

After the penalties were killed, the Tomahawks would look to live another day with a goal to cut the Nordiques lead 5-2. John Gelatt would score the goal at 15:26 of the third period with the assist going to Jay Ahearn. Almost a minute later at 16:10, the Nordiques would call a timeout.

Fast forward after the timeout 55 seconds later at 17:05, we would see a fight break out between the Tomahawks Carson Grainer and Nordiques Jake Strauss. Both players' nights would be over, as both would receive five-minute majors for fighting. However, Carson Grainer would also receive five minutes for elbowing while Jake Strauss for Maine would only get a two-minute instigator minor. As a result, we would be 4-on-4 for the next two minutes.

Maine would kill off the penalty, and they would be on the man advantage with 55 seconds remaining in this contest. With less than a second remaining in the game, Maine would put a little more salt on the wound as Casper Söderling would score his second goal of the game unassisted as the Nordiques would walk out of game one with a 6-2 win over the Johnstown Tomahawks. The final shots on goal were 57-33 for Johnstown.

Goaltender Sam Evola would end the night for the Hawks, stopping five out of eight pucks in his 20 minutes between the pipes. Nordique goaltender Tyriq Outen with his win, ends the night, stopping an amazing 55 out of 57 shots.

The three stars of the game would all be from the Maine Nordiques. At number three would be Luke Antonacci (one goal), at number two would be Casper Söderling (two goals), and at number one would be Nords goalkeeper Tyriq Outen. The final buzzer would sound at 9:23 pm and the series would then shift into game two on Friday.

Friday would arrive and the Tomahawks would be looking to split the series with the Nordiques heading into game two. The Tomahawks would come out for the series finale wearing their red jerseys, while the Nordiques would come out wearing their same blue jerseys from the previous night.

For game two, the Tomahawks starting lineup would consist of Max Neill, Jared Gerger, and Holt Oliphant at forward, with alternate Ethan Webb and Liam Whitehouse on defense and Sam Evola in net for the Tomahawks. For the Nordiques, their starting line would consist of Jackson Vercellono, Aidan Connolly, and Connor Wood at forward, Cooper Swift and Luke Antonacci on defense. This time in net for the Nordiques would be Avery Sturtz.

The puck was then dropped at 1:03 pm and we were underway for the final game of this series. We would see some hard-nose physical fast pace hockey from both teams to start off the game. But we wouldn't see our first action of the game until 14:06, as the Tomahawks would score the game's opening goal. John Gelatt would score his eighth of the year with the assist going to Brendan Clark.

Minutes later in the period at 16:58, the Nordiques would be awarded with the game's first power play, as Tomahawks defenseman Dusty Geregach would be sent to the box for interference. The penalty would be killed and the first period would come to an end with the Tomahawks on top 1-0. Shots on goal after 20 minutes would be dead even at 9-9 for both teams.

Onto the second period and 6:08 into it, the Tomahawks would be going on their first power play of the game. Nordiques defenseman Cooper Swift would be sent to the box for tripping. Forty-four seconds remaining in the power play and the Tomahawks would be seeing some extra power-play time as they would be heading to a 5-on-3 man advantage. For the Nords, Matt Connor would get a double minor for high sticking, sending him to the sin bin for four minutes.

Evola would make an amazing save late in the power play as Caden Pattison for Maine almost put one in the net short-handed. Maine would then kill off the penalties and then head to the man advantage 12:14 in the second period. Defenseman Ethan Webb for the Hawks would be sent to the box for hooking. But the Hawks would kill off the penalty and the score would remain 1-0 Tomahawks nearing the end of the second period.

Later on, at 17:16 in the second, both teams would be going 4-on-4 after a scrum took place in front of the Nordiques net. Matt Connor for the Nords and Milan Cermak for the Hawks would both be sent to the box for roughing. A minute and nine seconds later, at 18:25 the Tomahawks would be on a 4-on-3 man advantage as Tyler Gaulin for Maine would be sent to the box for cross checking. The Tomahawks would take advantage as Brendan Clark would score the power play insurance goal at 19:11 with the assist to Caden Lewandowski.

The second period would then come to a close and the Tomahawks would be up on the Nordiques 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. Shots on goal would be 28-18 for the Tomahawks. The third period was underway as the Tomahawks kept this two-goal lead heading into the play's final 20 minutes.

They would get things started off with a bang as John Gelatt would score his second goal of the game with only 2:52 into the third period. The goal would be unassisted and the Tomahawks would now have a 3-0 lead over the Nordiques early in the third.

Halfway through the third period at 13:52, we would see a tripping penalty from Tomahawks forward Anthony Mastromonica. This would put the Maine Nordiques back on the power play, but the Tomahawks would stay strong and kill off the penalty. However, seconds later, after killing off the penalty, the Hawks would be forced to go back on the penalty kill as defenseman David Paluch would get called for holding. The Nordiques would then take advantage and score a power-play goal as Cannon Green would score his first of the year with the assists to Makem Demers, and Tristan Fasig.

Evola's shutout was gone as the goal was scored at 16:42 of the third. However, the Tomahawks would answer back as John Gelatt would complete the hat trick and score for the Tomahawks at 17:32 in the third. The assist would go to Jay Ahearn and the Tomahawks would be up 4-1 late in the third. Seconds after the goal at 18:13, the Nordiques would be back on the power play as Anthony Mastromonica was sent back to the box again. This time it would be for a charge, and the Nordiques would pull Sturtz to make it a 6-on-4 with 1:41 remaining in the game.

It wouldn't be enough for Maine as the Johnstown Tomahawks would walk out of Maine at a final score of 4-1. They would split the series and the final buzzer would sound at 3:12 pm. Final shots on goal would be 35-29 for the Tomahawks. Sam Evola would get the win for the Hawks, stopping 28 out of 29 shots. While Avery Sturtz would get the loss for the Nordiques, stopping 31 out of 35 shots.

The three stars of the game would be Cannon Green (one goal) from the Nordiques at number three, Brendan Clark (one goal, one assist) from your Hawks at number two, and John Gelatt (three goals) would receive the number one star of the game from your Johnstown Tomahawks.

The Tomahawks ended the week as of the end of the game, sitting on top of the East Division with a 7-3-2-1 record and 17 points. While Maine sits tied for second with Maryland with an 8-4 record with 16 points.

So after two weeks on the road, the Tomahawks will now be home for the next two weeks. Their next series will be a two-game series at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA in Johnstown. Pennsylvania on December 11th and 12th, as the Tomahawks will take on the Maryland Black Bears. We will have a weekend preview for you all, getting you ready for the games right here on hawks-daily.com real soon.

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