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Game Preview: Johnstown @ New Jersey

The Matchup

The Johnstown Tomahawks close out the opening weekend of the regular season with a Saturday night contest against the New Jersey Titans. The Titans were created after the Soo Eagles relocated to Middletown, NJ during the off-season.

This will be the first of 16 meetings between Johnstown and New Jersey, with 11 of those first 16 games coming between now and the end of 2015. The Tomahawks welcome the Titans to the War Memorial for the first time Oct. 16 and 17.

Johnstown

            Johnstown is looking to finish off the weekend with a sweep, after defeating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 7-3 on Friday night. Anthony Parrucci had two goals and an assist, while Dante Suffredini added three assists.

            After going down 2-0 early, the Tomahawks fired back with six straight goals. The Knights picked up a final goal late in the game, before Brendan Jaquay set the final score with an empty net goal.

            Jake Gwillim earned the win, stopping 28 of 31 shots. Johnstown outshot the Knights 46-31.

Following tonight’s game, the Tomahawks travel to Blaine, Minn. for the 2015 NAHL Showcase, which begins Wednesday. The Tomahawks face Corpus Christi, Brookings, Coulee Region and Lone Star in their four showcase games.

New Jersey

            New Jersey is looking to rebound after dropping its home opener to the Aston Rebels last night. The Titans took an early lead, thanks to first period goals from Keegan Miller and Andrew Durham.

            The Rebels tied the game later in the period, as Andrew Zerban scored a power-play goal at 8:04. Gvido Jansons tied the game just 44 seconds later.

            The Rebels picked up the game-winner in the second period, as Drew Blackman scored at 11:19.

            Jack Berry took the loss for the Titans, allowing three goals on 33 shots.

            The Titans have some faces that will be familiar to Tomahawks fans, including former Eagles Bruno Birzitis, Keegan Miller and Pat Gazillo. Miller ranked fourth in points for Soo last season, scoring 16 goals and providing 21 assists in 51 games.

News & Notes

  • The Tomahawks went 5-5 in their 10 meetings against Soo last season.

 

  • The Titans are the first NAHL team ever placed in the state of New Jersey.

 

  • The Tomahawks win snapped a three-game losing streak in season openers with Friday night’s win. The Tomahawks dropped their first two season openers to Port Huron and last season’s to Keystone.