Tomahawks Travel to New Jersey Tonight For One Game
Written by: David Nicoletti
Tonight the Tomahawks look to continue their six-game winning streak, as they will play their only game of the week against the New Jersey Titans at Middletown Ice Arena in Middletown Township, New Jersey. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm tonight.
This will be the sixth time this season that the two teams will scrap off. The Tomahawks are currently leading the season series this year over New Jersey with a 4-1-0-0 record. New Jersey currently holds a 1-3-0-1 record this year against Johnstown.
The Titans come into this series after splitting a two-game series against the Maine Nordiques last Friday and Saturday and a one-game win against the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks during a Wednesday afternoon contest.
The Titans would take a 6-3 loss on Friday against the Nordiques, after Maine would go on to score five-unanswered goals between the second and third period. New Jersey would respond the following day with a 3-1 win over Maine, splitting the series, ending it out defeating the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks 6-2 on Wednesday.
The Tomahawks come into this series after sweeping a three-game series at home against the Northeast Generals. A Will Margel two-goal night would lead Johnstown to a 6-2 win in game one. Game two last Saturday would end up in a close contest from the get-go, but Johnstown would remain victorious with a 4-3 win. Ending the series last Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 win, sweeping the Gens and improving their winning streak to six games.
The Tomahawks come into this series sitting first in the East Division standings with a 16-4-2-1 record and 35 points.
Jay Ahearn currently sits on top as the Hawks leader in goals and points. So far in his 23 games, this year, the newly named East Division Star of the Week and NAHL Forward of the Month has 17 goals and 34 points on 2020-21. Those numbers sit him on top of the NAHL in goals and second in the NAHL in points.
Brendan Clark currently sits on top as Johnstown’s leader in assists. In Clark’s 23 games this year, the Morris Plains, New Jersey native has 24 assists, sitting him second in the NAHL in that category.
Sam Evola is the Hawks best goaltender going into this weekend. In 15 games this year, Evola holds a 10-2-1-1 record with a 2.05 GAA and a 0.922 save percentage, along with two shutouts with 850 minutes in net. Evola sits third in the NAHL with his GAA, seventh with his save percentage, and is in a six-way tie for second with shutouts
The Titans come into this series, sitting fourth place in the East Division standings with a 10-10-1-4 record and 25 points, trailing Maryland Black Bears by four points.
Forward Evan Werner currently sits on top as the Titans leader in goals and points. So far in 24 games this year, the 17-year old Flower Mound, Texas native, has 15 goals and 24 points this season. Numbers that sit him third in the NAHL in goals and has him in a three-way tie for ninth in points.
Forward Nick Seitz currently sits on top as the Titans leader in assists. The Princeton University commit so far in 2020-21 has 13 assists.
Goaltender Berk Berkeliev is the Titans' best goaltender heading into Thursday. The Calgary native this year holds a 5-5-1-3 record with a 3.06 GAA and a 0.915 save percentage with 901 minutes in net.
Jay Ahearn - Three Game Point Streak - Six Points (three goals & assists) since 01/29/2021
Brendan Clark - Three Game Point Streak - Five Points (one goal, four assists) since 01/29/2021
Sam Evola - Two-Game Win Streak since 01/22/2021
Dusty Geregach - Three Game Assist Streak - Three Assists since 01/15/2021
Peyton Grainer - Four Game Win Streak since 01/16/2021
Ryan Poorman - Two Game Assist Streak - Three Assists since 01/30/2021
On 01/28/2021, the Tomahawks have released forward Timur Alishlalov. Alishlalov appeared in five games this year for the Tomahawks, failing to find the scoresheet. Alishlalov is now playing in the NCDC for the Twin City Thunder, wherein two games, he has one assist.
2020 ninth-round draft pick Aiden Ehresman has been playing for the Charleston Colonials of the USPHL Premier. In seven games for the Colonials, Ehresman has put up two assists. The former Tomahawks draft pick appeared in only one game with the team this season, registering two shots on goal but coming up scoreless in the Hawks 3-2 shootout win against the Titans 11/29/2020.
Fan favorite and former Tomahawks captain Filips Buncis is now playing professional hockey in the DEL for the Krefeld Pinguine. Buncis started the year with Arizona State University of the NCAA, which was his junior college season. But after two games, he made the jump to the DEL. In 12 games, he currently has one goal and three assists.
As mentioned before, forward Jay Ahearn has been newly named NAHL East Division Star of the Week for January 25-31, 2021. Ahearn helped the Hawks move into 1st place in the East Division with a three-game weekend home sweep of the Northeast Generals. He had six points (3 goals, three assists) and was a +4 in the three wins.
On Friday, Ahearn had a goal and two assists in a 6-2 win. On Saturday, he added another goal and assisted in a 4-3 win. On Sunday, he had the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win.
Head Coach Mike Letizia said the following:
“Jay has been an instrumental part of our team since Day 1. His ability to impact the game night in and night out has been enjoyable to watch. More importantly, his love for the game is infectious, and I think he truly relished the moment this weekend, providing an impact in all three games. When he makes a commitment to an NCAA Division I team, I have no doubt they will love the player and person that he is.”
Not only was Ahearn named East Division Star of the Week, but Jay was also named NAHL Forward of the Month for January 2021. The 5’11/180 lbs. native of Staten Island, NY, put up 15 points (11 goals, four assists) in just eight games played during January, including a +11 rating.
Head Coach Mike Letizia said the following:
“Jay had an incredible month of January for us, leading to much-needed team success. He had an impact on every game. It seemed and delivered in many ways. His ability to show up at big times was great for us. Jay delivered at even strength, power play, and short-handed this month. I couldn’t be prouder of his growth as a player this year, and he is truly deserving of this honor as Forward of the Month.”
Ahearn also took to the media and said the following:
“The team has bonded and gotten a lot closer as the season has gone on, and we have stuck to playing the way we want to play. This is a unique season, and we have a new appreciation for being around the rink and playing hockey. Everyone is doing their part to ensure we have team success first. I just want to help our team win a division title and hopefully win a Robertson Cup. After that, I would love the opportunity to continue my career by playing NCAA Division I hockey.”