Tomahawks vs. Maryland Black Bears Series Preview (1/28-1/29)
Written by: David Nicoletti
After a weekend sweep in Lewiston, Maine, the next destination for the Tomahawks will be Odenton, Maryland. Where this Friday starts a two-game series at Piney Orchard Ice Arena against the Maryland Black Bears.
Game One Puck Drop: 7:40 p.m. | Game Two Puck Drop: 7 p.m.
Maryland’s previous series last weekend against the Jamestown Rebels saw the Black Bears take home three out of four points. They fell game one in a shootout 4-3, but responded in game two with a 4-1 win. Forward Branden Piku scored two goals, while goaltender Michael Morelli took home the win, stopping 16/17.
Prior to this upcoming series, the Black Bears made a quick stop in Middletown Township to face off against the New Jersey Titans in a one-game tilt. Two goals in 0:33 from Miles Gunty (F) late in the frame saw Maryland go up 3-1 after one. They held that lead going into the third as it was now a 5-3 game. But two goals from Anthony Calafiore, and one from Chris Carroll gave New Jersey the 6-5 comeback win over Maryland. Extending their lead in the East division standings.
For the Tomahawks, as mentioned, they enter Maryland territory after sweeping the Maine Nordiques on the road last weekend. After being down early 2-0, Johnstown came back to take a 3-2 lead early in the third with goals from Ryan Vellucci, Egan Schmitt, and Stephen Kyrkostas. Tied 3-3 late, Sean Ramsay and Jake Black would put the game away. Sending Johnstown out of game one with a 5-3 win.
Game two saw a much outscoring stretch for the Tomahawks. The Nordiques got the first goal, however Johnstown responded by scoring the next four. Maine got one more midway, before the Tomahawks ended the game out by scoring three more goals. Walking out with a 7-2 win, as well as the series sweep over the Nordiques.
Goaltender Matthew O’Donnell collected both wins between the pipes. Averaging weekend totals of 2.50 GAA, 0.927 SV%, and stopping 63/68 in the 120:00 in net.
HEAD TO HEAD - all stats as of 01/26/2021
East Division Rank: 3rd
Leading Goal Scorer: Jake Black (23 Goals) [NAHL Rank: 2nd]
Leading Assists Scorer: Jacob Badal (23 Assists)
Leading Points Scorer: Jake Black (45 Points) [NAHL Rank: 5th]
Leading +/-: Jake Black (+20) [NAHL Rank: T-9th]
Top Goalie: Matthew O’Donnell (9-4-3-1, 2.61 GAA, 0.900 SV%, 1 SO, 1102 MIN)
[NAHL Rank: T-10th in SO]
East Division Rank: 2nd
Leading Goal Scorer: Branden Piku (16 Goals)
Leading Assists Scorer: Ryan Bottrill (34 Assists) [NAHL Rank: T-2nd]
Leading Points Scorer: Ryan Bottrill (44 Points) [NAHL Rank: 8th]
Leading +/-: Branden Piku (+25) [NAHL Rank: 4th]
Top Goalie: Luca Di Pasquo (11-3-0-1, 2.11 GAA, 0.927 SV%, 2 SO, 911 MIN)
[NAHL Rank: 5th in GAA, 3rd in SV%, 5th in SO]
Jacob Badal - Two Game Assist Streak (three assists) since 2022-01-21
Jake Black - Two Game Points Streak (one goal, two assists) since 2022-01-21
Matthew O'Donnell - Win Streak (two wins) since 2022-01-21
Stephen Kyrkostas - Three Game Points Streak (three goals, two assists) since 2022-01-15
Holt Oliphant - Three Game Points Streak (two goals, three assists) since 2022-01-15
Sean Ramsay - Two Game Points Streak (two goals, one assist) since 2022-01-21
Egan Schmitt - Three Game Points Streak (three goals, two assists) since 2022-01-15
Johnny Ulicny - Three Game Assists Streak (four assists) since 2022-01-15
Noah Wagner - Two Game Points Streak (one goal, one assist) since 2022-01-21
Ryan Vellicci - Two Game Points Streak (one goal, two assists) since 2022-01-21
Congratulations to Tomahawks forward Stephen Kyrkostas who was named this week’s East Star of the Week. The Long Island native continued his point streak last weekend by picking up four points in last weekend’s series against the Maine Nordiques. Lighting up the lamp once in game one, followed in game two by doing the same twice, as well as picking up an apple.
Forward Egan Schmitt was also honored as an Honorable Mention for his four point weekend. Ending each game by scoring one goal and one assist. Continuing his points streak as well.
February 7th-8th will hold this year's NAHL Top Prospect Tournament at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, home to the Pittsburgh Penguins. So the question is, who will be representing the Tomahawks this year? Well, on Tuesday evening we got our answer. As this year, three Tomahawks, all forwards, will represent Johnstown throughout this two-day event.
The Flushing, Michigan native came to Johnstown in his final year of junior eligibility, after playing the previous season with both the Minnesota Wilderness and Odessa Jackalopes. Previously committed to Western Michigan, the 6’1” 205 pounder goes to Pittsburgh looking for another opportunity of claiming DI gold.
So far in 35 games this season, the left handed shot has put up 13 goals and 23 assists. He was named East Division Star of the Week for the week of November 29-December 5, 2021. Badal will wear #3 for the East Division squad.
The Tomahawks’ 2021 1st Round Draft Pick comes to the NAHL for the first time ever in his final year of junior eligibility, after spending 2020-21 in the BCHL, playing for the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
The 5’11” 170 pound left handed shot from Victoria, BC in 35 games this year has put up 10 goals and 19 assists. Ramsay will suit up for the East wearing #11.
Our final Tomahawk on this list is none other than this week’s East Division Star. The 5’10” 175 pound right handed shot comes over from the Corpus Christi Ice Rays (2019-20), but found a home in the NCDC with the Islanders Hockey Club last season.
This year in 35 games Kyrkostas has 14 goals and 14 assists. He is a two time East Division Star of the Week, with his last 1st honors coming on the week of November 8-14, 2021. He will suit up wearing #21 for the East.
Congrats to all, and good luck!