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GAME PREVIEW
 

Port Huron Fighting Falcons vs. Johnstown Tomahawks

Jan. 31st and Feb. 1st at 7 p.m. 

 

Sault Ste. Marie Eagles vs. Johnstown Tomahawks

Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.

 

War Memorial Arena, Johnstown, PA

By Suzanne Grove

 

THE SERIES
vs. Port Huron

 

This Thursday and Friday Johnstown hosts Port Huron for the final time during the NAHL 2013-2013 regular season. The Hawks have struggled against their north-division rival. In six games against the Fighting Falcons this season (1-3-2), the Tomahawks have only emerged victorious once, winning, 3-2, on Dec. 21 in Port Huron. The two clubs last played in Johnstown on Jan. 11 and 12 with Johnstown earning one point out of a possible four after a shootout loss on the 11th. The following night, Port Huron earned the win with a score of 4-2.

On Friday, Jan.11 Johnstown gave up the lead twice before heading into overtime and then a shootout to settle a 2-2 tie. Goaltender Alex Blankenburg played a vital role in his second appearance against the Tomahawks, stopping 36 of 38 shots and all four shots in the shootout. Colin Brennan stopped 25 of 27 in regulations and two of four in the shootout for the loss.

On Saturday, Jan. 12 Jesse Kessler had a goal and an assist, but two first period goals by Dunk Abbott and another night of outstanding goaltending by Blankenburg helped Port Huron defeat Johnstown, 4-2. Blankenburg stopped 29 of 31 shots and earn notched his third victory in as many games against the Tomahawks. Chris Truehl replaced Brennan after the fourth goal and stopped all 17 shots he faced.

The Fighting Falcons’ Alex Archibald has the most points against the Tomahawks, going 3-4-7 in six games. Meanwhile, seven different Johnstown players have three points against Port Huron with Jaycob McCombs leading his team in goals (3). Chris Truehl has split two games against the Fighting Falcons and stopped 69 of 73 on the season while Brennan has two losses and one overtime loss, stopping 79 of 88 shots faced.

Previous Games
9/8/12: Johnstown 3 at Port Huron 4 OT
9/9/12: Johnstown 2 at Port Huron 4
12/21/12: Johnstown 3 at Port Huron 2
12/22/12: Johnstown 3 at Port Huron 4
1/11/13: Port Huron 3 at Johnstown 2 SO
1/12/13: Port Huron 4 at Johnstown 2

 

 

THE SERIES
vs. Soo

Following their two games against Port Huron on Thursday and Friday, the Tomahawks will faceoff against the Sault Ste. Marie Eagles for the final time this season on Saturday night. The two teams most recently played last weekend, Jan. 25 and 26, in Sault Ste. Marie, splitting two games. Johnstown departed from Pullar Stadium with two points after a 5-2 loss on Jan. 25 and a 5-4 shootout win the next evening.

The Tomahawks will have played seven games against the Eagles so far (3-3-1). Most recently, Johnstown defeated Soo, 6-2 at home on Jan. 13. Andrew McDonald scored two goals and Zach Wallace added three assists in their domination of the division-leading Eagles. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Tomahawks and was the second straight loss for Soo. Prior to the two losses, Soo had won nine straight.

Cody Gylling and Mitch Kontny each have three goals and three assists for six points against Soo. Truehl has been between the pipes the most this season against them, going 2-2-1 and stopping 117 of 128 shots. Brennan has faced Soo three times, gaining credit for one win and one loss. The Eagles’ Jared VanWormer has 11 points (3-8-11) against the Tomahawks. Goaltender Tyler Marble has a record of 3-1-2 and Zach Nagelvoort has played three times, earning credit for one win.

 

Previous Games
10/12/12: Johnstown 4 at Soo 5 SO
10/13/12: Johnstown 1 at Soo 4
10/19/12: Soo 2 at Johnstown 3 SO
10/20/12: Soo 4 at Johnstown 0
1/13/13: Soo 2 at Johnstown 6
1/25/13: Johnstown 2 at Soo 5
1/26/13: Johnstown 5 at Soo 4 SO

 

 

THE TOMAHAWKS (20-14-9)

The Tomahawks continue to sit in fourth place in the North Division with 49 points, nine points behind the division leading Eagles and eight points ahead of the Fighting Falcons . . . The Hawks still hold the record for the most overtime losses in the league (9) . . . With a record of 11-6-4, the Tomahawks have proven to play better in front of their hometown crowd at the War Memorial Arena . . . Casey Nelson is tied for 6th place for the most points by a defenseman (24) in the league. He continues to lead all defensemen in shots (147).

The Hawks have split their last six games, going 3-3-0 . . . Gylling leads his team in points and assists (12-21-33) . . . Kontny leads the team in goals (17).

Special Teams:The team has gone 41-for-225 on the power play (18.2 percent; 6th in the league and 1st in the North Division). They have created the most power-play opportunities in the league

Johnstown will play its next weekend series in Janesville, NY against the Jets on Feb. 8 and 9. The team only has six home games remaining in the regular season, hosting Wenatchee, Fresno, and Jamestown.

 

PORT HURON (19-21-3)

The Fighting Falcons are currently in fifth place in the North Division with 41 points . . . The team has a road record of 8-10-1 and has gone 3-2-1 in its last six games . . . The team has capitalized on 22 of 176 power-play chances (12.5 percent) and gone 139-for-171 on the penalty kill (81.3 percent) . . . Ian Miller (11-15-26) and Rick DeRosa (7-19-26) lead the team in points.

 

SOO  (27-10-4)

The Eagles are tied with Kalamazoo for first place in the North Division with 58 points . . . They have a road record of 12-7-2 . . . Soo’s power play is one place behind Johnstown at 18 percent (27-for-150) . . . The Eagles lead the entire league with a penalty-kill percentage of 18.0% (147-for-165) . . . VanWormer (15-34-49) and Eric Rivard (19-29-48) are third and fourth in points in the league, respectively.