TITANS (24-11-2) at TOMAHAWKS (23-8-2)
Location: Cambria County War Memorial | Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Faceoff: Tonight (7:30 p.m.), Saturday (7:00 p.m.)
They say all good things must come to an end.
For the Johnstown Tomahawks, a winning streak was on the line against the cellar-dwelling Kenai River Brown Bears January 6-8.
The streak made its way to nine consecutive games when the Tomahawks defeated the Brown Bears in game one of a three-game series. However, the Brown Bears bounced back with a 5-1 win during an emotional and gritty contest on January 7.
Johnstown would rebound after taking a 5-1 loss with a Sunday win against Kenai River to win the mini-series 2-1.
Up next for the Tomahawks are the New Jersey Titans, who own a 2-1-0 record against the Tomahawks this season. Johnstown is back on home ice after a brief rest.
New Jersey visits the War Memorial for the first time this season since being eliminated from the 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs by the Tomahawks in April 2016.
THE JOHNSTOWN TOMAHAWKS
The Tomahawks opened a home series with the Kenai River Brown Bears Friday, Jan. 6 at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena with a 3-0 shutout.
Drew Hotte stopped all 20 Brown Bears shots on goal en route to back-to-back shutouts and his third on the campaign.
Daniil Bokun, Donovan Ott and Logan Stork chipped in goals for the Tomahawks in the win.
Saturday night, the Brown Bears came to play. Johnstown surrendered three goals in the first period. Jonathan Marzec, Tyler Rock and Shayne Monahan collected goals in the first period and forced the Tomahawks to make a goaltending change at the end of the first period in favor of Vinnie Purpura.
Unfortunately, nine seconds into the second period, the Brown Bears added to their lead when Evan Butcher tapped a puck past Purpura for a 4-0 lead.
Joseph Kile scored the lone Johnstown goal late in the second period shorthanded.
Sunday, the Tomahawks were looking to bounce back in a big way and they did with a 3-1 victory to close the series with Kenai River.
Nick Bruce tallied the Undies Sunday goal 26 seconds into the game. For Bruce, it was his tenth of the season.
The Brown Bears tied the game at 17:03 of the first period when Jonathan Marzec found the back of the net.
However, the Tomahawks maintained constant pressure on goaltender Robbie Goor and, in the third period, cracked the 1-1 tie when Hayden Rowan deflected a Daniil Bokun shot.
Rowan added his second of the game with an empty-netter to seal the Tomahawks win.
NEW JERSEY TITANS
The Titans are one of the highest scoring teams in the North American Hockey League with 135 goals scored so far this season, a mark that is far and away the highest in the East Division.
New Jersey completed a two-game sweep of the Northeast Generals last weekend in which the Titans scored a combined 14 goals including a 10-2 rout on Sunday, Jan. 15.
Leading the way for the Titans in points is Danny Eruzione with 32 points. Eruzione is the nephew of Mike Eruzione, the captain of the 1980 United States “Miracle on Ice” team that defeated the USSR to advance to the gold medal game in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Maxim Andreev and Gordie Helmuth are tied for second in scoring with 30 points. Andreev is the nephew of former New Jersey Devils forward Sergei Brylin.
Additionally, the Tomahawks will welcome back a familiar face as Titans forward Tiernan Seningen returns to the War Memorial.
Returning to this edition of the Titans are forwards Anthony Cusanelli and Greg Malafronte. Defenseman Danny Weaver also is a returner on a New Jersey squad that witnessed a lot of turnover from last season.