The Johnstown Tomahawks will close the home portion of their inaugural NAHL schedule tonight and Saturday against the Jamestown Ironmen at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
Both games face-off at 7 p.m.
The Tomahawks (23-19-12) are fighting to create an even more memorable first season in the NAHL by making a run for the 2013 Robertson Cup.
The team is trying to clinch a spot in the NAHL playoffs. The Tomahawks are currently in fourth place in the North Division, where they have remained for most of the season.
Johnstown has 58 points, 12 points behind third-place Jamestown and only six points ahead of fifth place Port Huron, which did not play last weekend. Johnstown has only four games remaining after this weekend – all of which are on the road. Port Huron will play eight more times.
The Tomahawks are 3-1-0 in four meetings with Jamestown, sweeping them during their first games in Jamestown on Nov. 23 and 24.
Goaltender Chris Truehl was in net both nights, only allowing 5 goals on 70 shots. Colin Brennan was between the pipes for the most recent games in Johnstown on Dec. 14 and 15, stopping all 19 shots he faced for the win the first night, and allowing only one goal in a loss the next night.
Johnstown has consistently outshot Jamestown (33-15-4) in three of their four games and has outscored the Ironmen, 13-6.
The Tomahawks have also proven more successful on the power play, earning eight goals on 24 chances. Jamestown only capitalized on one of 11 opportunities.
Cody Gylling and defenseman Casey Nelson lead their team in points against the Ironmen, both tallying six points (1-5-6) in four games. Brandon Reinholz has the most goals with four (4-1-5) in four games. Meanwhile, Dylan Zink has the most for the opposition, going 1-2-3 in the four games against Johnstown.
Mitch Kontny, Jeff Bergh, Connor Wright, Jesse Kessler, Jordan Watt, and Andrew McDonald also have goals against the Ironmen this season. Wright has the most penalty minutes against them and Nelson has the most shots with 22.
If there was any doubt that Johnstown and Jamestown are fierce North-Division rivals, that was erased on Dec. 14, as both teams got physical in a game that included several scrums and two fights.
Brennan recorded the shutout and McDonald provided a goal and an assist as the Tomahawks picked up a dominating 5-0 victory in front of 3,388 at the War Memorial.
Johnstown converted two of nine opportunities while stopping Jamestown on all three of its chances. Jamestown’s Matt Lanzillotti hit McDonald in front of the penalty boxes at 6:39 of the second period igniting a fight between Wright and Luc Gerdes near Jamestown’s blue line.
It was the first in a string of altercations between the two clubs. Kessler and Elliot Tisdale made contact at 10:21 before getting together and dropping the gloves near center ice.
The following night, the two teams went over 48 minutes without a goal, but Nicholas Sierra poked a shot past Brennan in the third period to give Jamestown a 1-0 win in front of a sellout crowd.
Both goaltenders were strong with Reid Mimmack stopping all 37 shots for his second shutout of the season, just one night after giving up five goals in a 5-0 Tomahawks’ victory.
Colin Brennan stopped 30 of 31 shots in the loss, snapping his four-game winning streak. Sierra’s goal snapped Brennan’s streak of 127 minutes without allowing a goal.
Johnstown will play its 55th game overall and 29th home game tonight, while Jamestown will play its 53rd game and 27th road game.
The two clubs will face each again during the regular season in Jamestown on March 29-30, the Tomahawks final games of the regular season.