NEW JERSEY (33-17-3) at TOMAHAWKS (35-14-4)
Location: Cambria County War Memorial | Johnstown, PA
Game Time: Tonight (7:30 p.m.), Saturday (7:00 p.m.)
The Johnstown Tomahawks returned to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena for a crucial weekend series with division rival, Aston.
During Green Out Weekend, the Tomahawks looked to correct some of the difficulties the team has faced when playing the Rebels. All in all, it proved to be an exciting weekend at the War Memorial.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the Tomahawks and Rebels battled to a thrilling 1-1 tie at the end of regulation before Donovan Ott capped the game with his game-winning 27th goal of the season.
Nick Bruce also picked up a tally late in the first period. Aston’s Aaron Maguyon scored the game’s first goal early in the same period.
The next night, Aston would gain a two-goal lead with goals from Andrew Noel and Dom Garcia before Johnstown started the comeback.
Forward Nick Bruce cut the Rebels lead to 2-1 with a goal late in the second period. Bruce tied the game eight seconds into the third period for his 21st goal of the season.
However, Aston forward and leading scorer, Andrew Bellant, fired home the game-winning goal minutes after the Hawks tied the game.
The Tomahawks and Rebels will not meet again until the final homestand of the season on April 7-8.
THE JOHNSTOWN TOMAHAWKS
In what looks like a 2017 Robertson Cup playoffs first round preview, the Tomahawks and the New Jersey Titans will battle for the final time this regular season.
Their last meeting was held March 9-11 at the Middletown Ice World arena where the Hawks gained four out of a possible six points.
Johnstown dropped the first game of the three-game set 4-2 but fired home a 6-5 shootout win and a 2-1 win to round out the road series.
In game one, the Tomahawks received goals from Adam Pilewicz and Donovan Ott but were unable to overcome the early scoring by the Titans as they skated to a 4-2 win.
Friday, March 10, the Hawks rebounded with a thrilling 6-5 shootout victory.
To close out the set, Johnstown and New Jersey renewed acquaintances in a 2-1 Tomahawks victory. Nick Bruce and Mitch Hale scored in the victory and goaltender Drew Hotte stopped 36 of 37 shots on goal.
Player to Watch
Donovan Ott, who is just two goals away from tying Luke Lynch’s single-season goal scoring mark at 29 goals, will be counted on for crucial minutes and production against the high-scoring Titans.
NEW JERSEY TITANS
One thing is certain about the New Jersey Titans this season, they score. A lot.
Coached by first-year bench boss, Craig Doremus, the Titans lead the North American Hockey League in goals scored this season with an astounding 205 markers on the season. In fact, the Titans are tops in goals per game with 3.87 per game.
Last weekend, the Titans visited Attleboro, Mass., for a two-game matchup with the Northeast Generals.
New Jersey outscored the Generals 12-1 in two games, earning a sweep of Northeast and making the race for home-ice even more interesting.
The Titans defeated Northeast 5-1 on Friday, March 17 and followed that up with a dominating 7-0 win Saturday.
New Jersey is led in scoring by Sacred Heart-commit Jordan Kaplan, who has scored 23 goals and 27 assists this season. He is featured on a line with fellow future Pioneers Nick Boyagian and Todd Goehring.
The Titans will be paced in net by goaltenders Brandon Perrone and Ryan Ferland, who have been solid all season.
Player to Watch
Gordie Helmuth has scored in four straight games against the Tomahawks. Helmuth will be a consistent scoring threat each time he will be on the ice.