Tomahawks Game Preview: September 20, 2013

Game Preview

Johnstown Tomahawks vs. Aberdeen Wings

September 20, 2013

11:30 a.m. (EST)

Schwans Super Rink, Blaine, MN

By Ed Sheets

 

TODAY’S MATCHUP

After picking up their first point of the season in last night’s game, the Johnstown Tomahawks look to pick up their first win as they take on the Aberdeen Wings in their third game at the 2013 NAHL Showcase. This will be the first meeting between Johnstown and Aberdeen, and the only meeting between these two teams during the regular season.

THE TOMAHAWKS

After Johnstown scored the lone first period goal, The Tomahawks and Topeka RoadRunners would combine to score 9 goals in the second and third periods, including three straight by the Johnstown in the third period to take the game into overtime. In the end, the Tomahawks fell to the Topeka RoadRunners 6-5 in a shootout, while picking up their first point of the season.

For the second straight game, the Tomahawks had a two-goal scorer as Brandon Reinholz scored two goals and added an assist. Shane Bednard also added a goal and assist.

Reinholz got Johnstown on the board late in the first period, scoring on the blocker side of goaltender Blake Wojtala with 1:16 remaining. Neither team would score until Topeka’s Tyler Poulsen scored at 13:14 of the second period. This would be the first of three goals scored between the two teams in a 1:26 span. The Tomahawks would retake the lead on a goal by Shane Bednard, before Topeka’s Tomas Nechala scored from above the left faceoff circle to tie the game. The RoadRunners would take their first lead of the game after Andrew Roye scored from just inside the blue line at 18:39.

The RoadRunners picked two more goals early in the third period on new goaltender Colin DeAugustine. Jerad Tafoya scored from the right side at 1:15, before Peter Halash made it 5-2 at 3:41. The Tomahawks third period rally began when Reinholz picked up his second goal of the game as his shot hit off the crossbar and bounced into the net at 7:50. Jordan Watt and Shane Cuckovich then scored 35 seconds apart to tie the game at 5.

After a scoreless overtime period, Topeka got shootout goals from James Ring, Poulsen, and Mike Gornall, while shots from Johnstown’s Shane Bednard, Collin Finkhouse, and Matthew Meier were stopped by Wojtala.

Wojtala picked up the win stopping 20 of 25 shots and all three shots he faced in the shootout. Colin DeAugustine took the loss after coming in to replace Brett Young in the third period. He stopped five of the six shots he faced and allowed three goals in the shootout.

The Tomahawks and RoadRunners kept the penalties to a minimum with Johnstown going 1-for-2 on the power play and Topeka going 1-for-4.

Following this afternoon’s game, the Tomahawks will close out the 2013 NAHL Showcase schedule against another Central Division team, the Bismarck Bobcats tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. (EST).

THE WINGS

The Aberdeen Wings come into today’s game with a 2-0-0 record with both wins coming at the showcase. In their first showcase game, Erik Baskin scored two first period goals, and Chad Catt stopped 22 of 23 shots as the Wings defeated the Janesville Jets 2-1. Aberdeen outshot Janesville 34-23 in the game.

In their second showcase game, Aberdeen defeated Rio Grande Valley 4-2. The Wings got on the board first as Bjorn Sigurdarson scored at 7:25. They would extend their lead at 12:56 on a goal by Jake Horton. Rio Grande Valley cut the lead to one on former Tomahawk JB Baker’s goal at 11:36 of the second period. Aberdeen would regain the two goal lead on the game winning goal by Lennart Palausch later in the period. Rio Grande Valley and the Wings would exchange goals to set the final score at 4-2. Henry Dill picked up the win, stopping 34 of 36 shots.

Aberdeen finished last season with a 23-30-7 record, three points out of the final playoff spot in the Central Division. They finished strong, winning nine of their last ten games. The Wings have to replace leading scorers Peter Krieger (22-32-54) and Justin Parizek (19-34-53), along with goaltender Zach Nagelvoort (17-6-2, 2.10 GAA). Forward Erik Baskin, who had 25 points (15-10-25) in 57 games last season, has two goals in two games this season. Goaltenders Chad Catt and Henry Dill have both been solid so far, going a combined 2-0-0, while allowing only three goals in two games.

The Wings close out their showcase schedule when they take on the Topeka RoadRunners tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. (EST).

 

KEY STATS

  • Aberdeen was tied with Soo last season for the longest home wins streak in the league (10).
  • Johnstown is 0-2-0 all-time against the current Central Division teams, falling to Austin 5-4 in overtime and Brookings 4-2 in last year’s NAHL Showcase.
  • Aberdeen’s assistant coach and director of player personnel is Francis Anzalone. His father, Frank Anzelone, was the head coach of the Johnstown Chiefs from 2005-2007. Francis was active with youth hockey in the Johnstown area prior to getting the call from Aberdeen.