Tomahawks Sweep Titans to Remain Unbeaten in Regulation This Season
Written by: David Nicoletti
Johnstown Tomahawks hockey is back! After three long weeks off due to COVID-19, and a scheduled shift which would've had the Tomahawks play the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks on the road last week, the Tomahawks were set to play a two-game home series in front of the hometown crowd at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA against the New Jersey Titans.
The Tomahawks came out Friday night in their home white jerseys. Their starting five consisted of Max Neill, Jared Gerger, and Timur Alishlalov out front. Both alternate captains Ethan Webb and Liam Whitehouse would start on defense. Ending the starting lineup with goaltender Sam Evola starting between the pipes for game one.
The New Jersey Titans came out on Friday wearing their red jerseys. Their starting lineup consisted of Anthony Calafiore, Levente Keresztes, and Jake Suede upfront. Brad Zona and Caleb Price on defenseman. With goaltender Louden Hogg starting in net for the Titans.
After lines were announced and a pre-recorded national anthem was sung by the Pittsburgh Penguins' own Mr. Jeff Jimerson was played, hockey was ready to be played. Puck drop was at 8:03 pm as we were underway for game one of this two-game series.
Fast physical hockey was upon us right off the bat. New Jersey, however, would get the first shot on goal for the game and the first goal of the game. Former Hawks defenseman Matthew Doyle returned to the War Memoria and scored the New Jersey Titans' opening goal. The assist would go to Caleb Price as the goal was scored at 3:45.
Minutes later, at the 8:36 mark of the first period, Tomahawks forward Brendan Clark would be sent to the box for holding. But that wouldn't stop the Tomahawks as they would kill the penalty and score two unanswered goals in the process.
The first goal would be scored short-handed at 9:25. Tomahawks' forward Drew Murphy would get the goal with the assist going to Max Neill. The second goal would be scored moments later at 11:07. Forward Jay Ahearn would put the puck past Hogg to score an unassisted breakaway goal to put the Hawks up 2-1.
Like that, the Hawks were back in front, and that's where we would end after 20 minutes of play. Shots on goal after the first period were 15-8 for the Tomahawks.
The second period would begin, and just like that, we would see yet another goal scored by the Tomahawks. Forward John Gelatt would score at 5:02 to put the Hawks up 3-1. The lone assist would go to Brendan Clark.
Minutes later, at the 11:00 mark of the second period, the Tomahawks would be going back on the penalty kill as Max Neill would be sent to the box for tripping. New Jersey would take advantage 48 seconds in at 11:48 as they would score the power-play goal. Forward Levente Keresztes would score the goal with the assists going to Jake Suede and Jack Ring.
At the 14:30 mark of the second, we would have some roughing penalties. Ethan Webb for Johnstown and Levente Keresztes for New Jersey would be sent off for roughing after an after whistle scrum.
After both teams were back to even strength, 35 seconds later, at the 17:05 mark of the period, Tomahawks captain Alex Gritz would score for Johnstown to make it a 4-2 game. Assists went to Matt McQuade and Jay Ahearn.
Shots on goal after the second period were 26-16 for the Tomahawks.
The third period would begin and the only action we would see in the period would come at the 8:59 mark. A scrum took place in front of the Titans bench and penalties would be given to two Titans players and one Tomahawks'. For the Hawks, Brendan Clark would be sent off for a boarding call. For the Titans, both Levente Keresztes and Brad Zona would be sent to the box for roughing. This would put the Tomahawks on the power play as a result of the calls. But New Jersey would remain strong and kill off the penalty.
The game would come to a close and the Johnstown Tomahawks would hold their lead for a final score of 4-2. Finals shots on goal were 35-22 for the Tomahawks.
Sam Evola would get the win for Johnstown as he would stop 20 out of 22 shots faced. Louden Hogg for New Jersey would end up in the loss column as he would stop 31 out of 35 shots faced all game.
The final buzzer sounded at around 10:33 pm, and we were all wrapped up from game one with your Johnstown Tomahawks gaining their 11th point of the season.
Saturday at the War Memorial was the scene for game two of this series between the Tomahawks and Titans. The Titans would come in looking for the split while the Tomahawks came into this game looking for their first sweep of the season.
The Tomahawks came out Saturday wearing their red jerseys. Jay Ahearn, Alex Gritz, and Matt McQuade would be the starting three out front. Ryan Poorman and Caden Lewandowski would be the Hawks starting defensemen. Sam Evola would get the start in net once again for the Hawks after a good game played by him on Friday night.
The Titans came into Saturday wearing their white jerseys. Tommy Bannister, Evan Werner, and Jack Ring would be New Jersey's starting three. Matt Doyle and Tyler Nasca would start on the blue line. With goaltender Berk Berkeliev in the net for the Titans this time around.
Puck drop for Saturday's game was at 7:06 pm.
Our first action of the contest would be a Johnstown penalty at 2:30. Holt Oliphant would get called for hooking. The Hawks would stay strong and kill off the penalty. The Titans would register the game's first shot on goal in the process.
Moving forward to the 9:28 mark of the first period, the Hawks would be going on their first power play of the game. New Jersey forward Anthony Calafiore would be called for slashing. Johnstown would take advantage as John Gelatt would score his fifth goal of the season at 10:43. Assists would go to Anthony Mastromonica and Ryan Poorman. It was 1-0 for the Tomahawks.
Minutes later, at the 13:13 mark of the first, Johnstown would be on the penalty kill as Jared Gerger would be sent to the box for slashing after a scrum that took place. The Titans would take advantage seconds later at 13:57, as Tyler Nasca would score for New Jersey to tie the game up at one goal apiece. Assists would go to Jake LaRusso and Evan Werner.
Minutes later, at the 16:53 mark of the first period, Tyler Nasca for New Jersey would be sent to the box for slashing. New Jersey would kill the penalty and we would end the first period with the score tied at 1-1. Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 12-7 for the Tomahawks. The second period was underway.
Shifting forward to almost midway through the second period at the mark 8:42, the Tomahawks would be going on the power play once again as New Jersey defenseman David Posma called for cross-checking. New Jersey would however, stay strong and kill off the penalty.
Minutes later at the 11:17 mark of the second period, penalties would be given out. New Jersey forwards Jake Suede (check from behind) and Levente Keresztes (roughing) would be sent to the box. For Johnstown, Max Neill would be sent to the box for roughing. This would result in a 5-on-4 power play for the Tomahawks. New Jersey would kill the penalty off.
After a media timeout and the Big Mac Attack announcement, Anthony Mastromonica would score for the Tomahawks at the 14:23 mark of the second period. The lone assist would go to John Gelatt. Everyone in attendance would walk out with a free Big Mac due to Mastromonica's sixth goal of the season. Things would end there after 40 minutes, as it would be 2-1 for the Tomahawks. Shots on goal after two periods were 29-10 for the Tomahawks.
Heading into the final 20 minutes of play and we would have a penalty right off the bat. New Jersey's Tommy Bannister would be called for elbowing and would receive a five-minute penalty. Johnstown would take advantage late in the power play as Ryan Poorman would score his first goal of the season at 4:38 of the third period. Assists would go to Andrew Murphy and John Gelatt.
10:26 into the third period, Jay Ahearn for Johnstown would be sent to the box for hooking. Johnstown would go on and kill off the penalty. Minutes later, Anthony Mastromonica would be sent to the box for slashing. The Tomahawks would go on and kill this penalty off as well.
The final buzzer would sound at 9:32 pm and the Tomahawks would defeat the New Jersey Titans and get the weekend sweep 3-1.
Johnstown moves into second place in the East division standings with 13 points and a 5-0-2-1 record. The Titans drop to fourth place in the East division standings with 12 points and a 4-5-1-3 record.
Up next for the Tomahawks will be a three-game road series on Friday, November 27th through Sunday, November 29th. They will play against the Maryland Black Bears at Ice World at 5:45 pm on Friday and 2 pm on Saturday. After that, they will travel to Middletown, New Jersey, to play a rescheduled game against the New Jersey Titans on Sunday at 3:30 pm.
We will have a weekend preview article to get you ready for the games real soon right here on hawks-daily.com. So stay tuned.