Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings vs. Johnstown Tomahawks
When: Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. & Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Cambria County War Memorial Arena
By Suzanne Grove
Friday and Saturday will mark the third and fourth meetings between Johnstown and Kalamazoo for the 2012-2013 NAHL season. The North Division rivals previously played Oct. 27-28, splitting two games in Kalamazoo, Mi.
The Tomahawks fell to the K-Wings, 5-4, in overtime Oct. 27 after a dramatic third-period rally at Wings Stadium. Kalamazoo’s Robbie Payne scored his second goal of the game 33 seconds into OT for the victory when he beat Tomahawks’ goaltender Colin Brennan from the left circle. The Tomahawks forced overtime by scoring three power-play goals in the span of 2:06 in the third period to erase a 4-1 deficit. The Tomahawks received two goals from Brandon Reinholz and one each from Cody Gylling and Mike Sandor, who notched his first goal of the season. Goaltender Bodhi Engum started the game but was pulled in favor of Collin Brennan after Kalamazoo scored power-play goals 27 seconds apart as part of its four-goal second period.
On Oct. 28, the Tomahawks won, 6-2, in an excellent effort from the entire team. Jordan Watt scored two goals 1:48 apart late in the first period to erase an early deficit and Mitch Kontny scored twice in the third period to complete a run of four unanswered Johnstown goals. Chris Truehl started in net, making 41 saves. Gylling, Casey Nelson, and Jesse Kessler each had two assists for Johnstown. Brandon Reinholz and Andrew McDonald also had goals, McDonald getting his first goal in a Tomahawks uniform after being acquired in a trade with Fresno on Oct. 26.
Friday’s game will be the K-Wings’ 19th of theseason and eighth road game. The Tomahawks will play their 20th game and 11th home game. The next meetings between the clubs will come on Dec. 30 and 31 in Johnstown.
THE TOMAHAWKS (7-6-6)
The Tomahawks are in fifth place in the North Division with 20 points coming into the weekend, three points behind Kalamazoo. The team will look to improve upon its home record of 5-3-2 and snap a three-game winless streak at the War Memorial (0-2-1).
Last weekend, the Springfield Jr. Blues swept the Tomahawks, winning, 4-3, in overtime on Saturday evening and 6-4 on Sunday afternoon.
Johnstown rallied in the third period Saturday to come back from a 3-1 deficit, but Springfield’s Ryan Atkinson completed a hat trick with 1:44 remaining in overtime to give the Jr. Blues the victory. Johnstown killed four of five penalties and capitalized on one power-play opportunity. Goaltender Chris Truehl took the OT loss.
On Sunday, the Tomahawks led 4-2 going into the third period, but Springfield scored four unanswered goals, including Mike Fazio’s game-winner with 1:50 remaining, to give the Jr. Blues the win. Colin Brennan got the start between the pipes. Johnstown’s McDonald started the scoring with a stick-side goal less than five minutes into the game, but Springfield quickly made it 2-1 with goals from Ryan Atkinson and Trevor Stone just 19 seconds apart. Johnstown tied the game, 2-2, on a Connor Wright shot past the glove of Ryan Kellenberger, and Kontny gave the Tomahawks a 3-2 lead with his team-leading eighth goal, extending his point-scoring streak to four games (3-3-6). Connor Wright finished the Tomahawks scoring with less than a minute remaining in the second period.
With Saturday’s loss, the Tomahawks have now had more overtime/shootout losses than any other team in the league with six. The team is also currently second in goals scored in the North Division with 64.
Johnstown will have 12 days off before returning to action on Nov. 23 and 24 in Jamestown, kicking off a stretch of six straight road games. After this series, the Tomahawks will not play again at home until Dec. 14-15 against Jamestown.
THE Jr. K-WINGS (11-6-1)
The K-Wings enter the weekend after sweeping two games against Port Huron at home last weekend. They currently hold a road record of 3-3-1 and are third in the North Division with 23 points.
On Saturday, Kalamazoo beat Port Huron, 4-3, in a shootout. Leading scorer Luc Boby put his team on the board first when he scored for the 12th time this season after forcing a turnover and scoring on a breakaway. Josh Dangel and Tyler Burden contributed goals in the first and second periods, respectively, but the Fighting Falcons were able to send the game into overtime with two goals midway through the third period. Kyle Gattelaro scored the shootout-winning goal and goaltender Marcus Due-Boje stopped every shot to pick up his second win of the season.
On Sunday, the K-Wings were able to get two points in regulation, winning 6-3. They received goals from six different players, and Robbie Payne had three assists. He has gone 3-4-7 in the past five games.
Kalamazoo made several roster moves at the end of October, including sending Jacob McDowell to Fresno for Mikhail Bushinkski of Woodbury, MN. The two-year veteran of the NAHL has gone 5-7-12 so far this season with Fresno and Kalamazoo. The team also acquired Wenatchee’s Brendan Vetter of Fon du Lac, WI. The team’s next game comes against the Michigan Warriors on Nov. 14.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jeff Bergh: The native of Hallock, MN, who played last season with the franchise in Alaska, has contributed 10 points (3-7-10) this season and has four points in his last five games. He is an important veteran presence for the team, currently playing in his third NAHL season.
Brett Beauvais:Beauvais is playing in his second season with Kalamazoo. The defenseman from Summerside, PEI has 10 points–all assists –and is +6. He has three assists in his past five games.
· Johnstown has scored 19 goals on 102 power-play chances (ninth in NAHL, 18.6%) and has gone 75-for-91 on the penalty kill (82.4%).
· The Tomahawks lead the league in power-play opportunities with 102 and are second in power-play goals (19).
· Casey Nelson continues to lead his team in shots with 61. He also leads the entire league in shots by a defenseman.
· The Tomahawks have points in seven of their eight games this season in which they were leading after one period (4-1-3).
· The K-Wings are 13-for-66 on the power play (fifth in NAHL, 19.7%) and have gone 57-for-67on the penalty kill (85.1%).
· Swedish goaltender Marcus Due-Boje has gone 2-0-0 with Kalamazoo after joining the team. This is his first season playing in the U.S.; he began his 2012-2013 campaign with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL and made his NAHL debut against Johnstown.
· Kalamazoo’s Dangel leads his team in assists with 14 (4-14-18).
· Boby continues to lead his team in points and goals (13-8-21).