TOMAHAWKS (29-8-3) at REBELS (32-9-1)
Location: IceWorks Skating Complex| Aston, Pennsylvania
Game Time: Tonight (7:00 p.m.), Saturday (7:00 p.m.)
Doors: One hour prior to faceoff
THE JOHNSTOWN TOMAHAWKS
The Tomahawks offense exploded last weekend in a three-game sweep of the Northeast Generals. Prior to that, the team made some news on the transactions list when they acquired Evan Somoza from the Generals on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Somoza would start for the Tomahawks on Thursday, Feb. 2 in an impressive 9-1 victory over the Generals.
The next night, Johnstown slammed the door on the Northeast offense with a 5-0 shut out. Drew Hotte stopped all 22 shots on goal and Somoza chipped in his first as a Tomahawk in the win.
Saturday night was a nail biter that included a penalty shot goal from Dalton Hunter en route to a 4-3 Tomahawks win.
Now the attention shifts to Philadelphia-based Aston who the Tomahawks haven’t laid eyes on since November.
The Tomahawks earned a record of 1-2-1 against the Rebels this season with their lone victory coming on October 29 in a 2-0 win at the IceWorks Skating Complex.
Just four points separate these two bitter rivals. Johnstown is 8-1-1 in their last 10 games while Aston is 6-4-0.
Leading the way for Johnstown against the Rebels is Donovan Ott. Ott has tallied five points (two goals, three assists) in four games played against Aston.
Player to Watch
Dalton Hunter recently committed to Mercyhurst University and has seven points in three games. The always dangerous scoring threat is an anchor on the vaunted HBO Line and is expected to make his presence known during the weekend.
At first place in the division, the Rebels return to their home arena after a two-game split on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Aston defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 5-2 on Tuesday and dropped a close 4-3 contest to New Jersey on Wednesday.
One of the most offensively consistent hockey teams in the NAHL, the Rebels are a deep team with scoring on all four lines. That is something to keep an eye on in this series.
Andrew Bellant leads the Rebels in scoring with 40 points (22 goals, 18 assist) in 41 games.
Player to Watch
Aston captain Dom Garcia has proven to be a thorn in the proverbial side of the Tomahawks in his two seasons with the Rebels. This season his offensive output has been impressive with 10 goals and 26 assists.