The Johnstown Tomahawks return home this weekend for a pair of games against the Aston Rebels. The Tomahawks sit just one point behind the Rebels for second place in the East Division and five points behind division-leading New Jersey.
Aston holds a 6-4 advantage in the season series, but the Tomahawks have won two of the three most recent meetings. The Tomahawks are also 3-1 in games played at the Cambria County War Memorial.
The teams last met Feb. 12 and 13, a series in which each team won one of the contests. Johnstown opened the weekend with a 2-1 victory, thanks to goals by Andrew Romano and Luke Lynch. Romano tallied his goal 16:55 into the first period, while Luke Lynch extended the lead with 1:21 remaining in the second period.
Evgeny Yakovlev pulled the Rebels within one in the third period, but the Tomahawks shut the door late to secure the victory. Ryan Glander stopped 22 of 23 shots in the victory, while Darion Hanson stopped 15 of 17 shots in the loss.
In the weekend finale, the Rebels responded with a 3-0 victory, thanks to a 19 save shutout by Trevor Micucci. Jerry Miettuten opened the scoring for Aston at 13:15 of the second period. Just over a minute later, Dean Balsamo extended the Rebels lead. Andrew Bellant added an empty net goal with eight seconds left in regulation, setting the final score.
Kelly O’Brien leads the Tomahawks with 11 points (two goals, nine assists) against the Rebels, while Kristofers Bindulis leads Aston with 11 points (one point, 10 assists
Following this weekend’s games, the Tomahawks and Rebels meet four more times this season, with each team hosting two games.
Stats & Notes
- Forward Luke Lynch needs one goal to set a new Tomahawks single-season goal record. He is tied at 23 with Casey Linkenheld, who set the record last season.
- Aston ranks in the top five in both power-play percentage (22.2%) and penalty kill percentage (85.4%).
- Johnstown is 17-0-2 when leading after two periods this season.