Johnstown Tomahawks vs. Jamestown Ironmen
When: Friday, Nov. 23 at 7:00 p.m. & Saturday, Nov. 24 at 5:00 p.m. ET
Where: Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena
By Suzanne Grove
Friday evening marks the first of six meetings between the Tomahawks and Ironmen this season.
Johnstown will play its 22nd game of 2012-2013 and its 10th road game while Jamestown will play its 23rd game and 13th home game.
The teams do not play each other again until Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9 in Johnstown. The Tomahawks finish the regular season in Jamestown with two more games on March 29 and 30.
THE TOMAHAWKS (9-6-6)
The Tomahawks are currently in fifth place in the North Division with 24 points coming into the weekend, a full 10 points behind the division-leading Ironmen. The team will look to improve upon its road record of 2-3-4. Johnstown played its last set of road games in Kalamazoo, MI nearly one month ago, splitting two games with the Jr. K-Wings, losing 5-4 in OT on October 27 and winning 6-2 on October 28. They have gone 2-1-2 in their last five road games.
Friday will serve as Johnstown’s first game in 14 days, following a weekend off after sweeping the Jr. K-Wings at home on November 9 and 10. Friday, the Tomahawks kick off a stretch of six straight road games; after this series, the team begins a West Coast swing that will take them to Wenatchee, Washington on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and Fresno, California the following weekend. They will not play again at home until Dec. 14-15 against Jamestown.
On Nov. 9, the Tomahawks defeated the Jr. K-Wings, 4-3. Johnstown found success on the power play, converting three of seven opportunities while also stopping all four of Kalamazoo’s man-advantages. The Tomahawks received goals from four different players: Jaycob McCombs, Connor Wright, Brandon Reinholz and Casey Nelson. Wright’s goal marked his third in two games when he put a shot past Kalamazoo goaltender Marcus Due-Boje at 17:38 to make the score 2-1. Meanwhile, Jesse Kessler’s assist on Reinholz’s goal in the second period gave him his ninth of the season.The Tomahawks outshot Kalamazoo, 35-21, and snapped their three-game losing streak at the War Memorial Arena.
On Nov. 10, the Tomahawks completed their sweep of the Jr. K-Wings, winning, 4-1, after brilliant play from multiple players, including first-star Andrew McDonald, who provided a goal and an assist. Chris Truehl was strong in net, stopping 21 of 22 shots to pick up his 10th win of the season. Both teams were effective on the penalty kill, with Johnstown going 4-for-5 and Kalamazoo going 5-for-6.
Jake Fairchild notched his first goal of the season at 11:09 of the first period and put the team on the board first. McDonald provided the lone assist on the goal, his third assist in two games. McDonald then made it 2-0 after he scored from above the right circle with 41 seconds remaining in the second period. Just 49 seconds into the third period, Mitch Kontny’s power-play goal from the right side gave the Tomahawks a 3-0 lead. With the goal, Kontny extended his scoring streak to five games (3-3-6). Cody Nelson provided an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to five games (2-5-7). Zach Wallace set the final score with his first goal of the season at 17:28 of the third period.
The Ironmen enter the weekend after splitting two games with Port Huron last weekend. They currently hold an outstanding road record of 10-1-1 and are first place in the North Division with a league-best record of 15-3-2. The team has not lost a game at home since opening night on Sept. 21; they have won nine home games in a row since that first and only loss.
On Nov. 16, Jamestown earned a 2-1 victory over Port Huron, 2-1. The next night, Port Huron responded with a 3-2 win. The Ironmen were outshot on both nights and converted three of six power-play chances and killed five of eight penalties on the weekend. The Ironmen have won four of their last five, including one OT and one shootout win.
The 2012-2013 season marks the team’s second NAHL season in Jamestown. The franchise got its start in 2005 as the Southern Minnesota Express before relocating near Detroit, MI for three seasons under two different names. In the Jamestown Ironmen’s first season, they finished 17 games under .500. The did not earn more than two consecutive wins and only won four of their final 21 games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Andrew McDonald: McDonald, a native of New Brighton, MN, who moved to Johnstown as part of trade with Fresno on Oct. 26, has earned six points in his past five games (3-3-6). One of the youngest players on the team, McDonald has made an immediate impact on the Tomahawks scoresheet.
Reid Mimmack: GoaltenderMimmack, a native of Brainerd, MN, is in his first season with Jamestown and second season in the NAHL. He currently holds a record of 12-3-0, ranking him second with two other goalies for the most wins this season. He has a GAA of 2.18 and a save percentage of .922.
· Johnstown has scored 23 goals on 116 power-play chances (sixth in NAHL, 19.83%) and has gone 86-for-103 on the penalty kill (11th, 83.5%).
· The Tomahawks continue to lead the league in power-play opportunities with 116 and are fourth in power-play goals (23).
· Casey Nelson continues to lead his team in shots with 71.
· The Tomahawks have points in seven of their last 10 games.
· The Ironmen are 16-for-73 on the power play (fourth in NAHL, 21.92%) and have gone 58-for-73on the penalty kill (20th, 79.45%).
· Jamestown has the most home wins of any team with nine.