Your Johnstown Tomahawks are back in action this weekend as they travel four time zones over to take on the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Friday, February 9 and Saturday, February 10 at Big Dipper Ice Arena. This is the second and final series between the two clubs, the previous series saw Fairbanks taking both games over December 30 and 31 of 2017 at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA @ Cambria County War Memorial. This is also the Tomahawks’ first two of four games of their Alaska trip, with the latter half being played at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex when they take on the Kenai River Brown Bears the following weekend.
The Tomahawks will head into Fairbanks well rested after a bye week which came following the Hawks’ two-game sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on January 26 and 27 in Pittston. Carson Briere, who continues to stay productive as he notched an assist and the game winning goal in overtime on January 27, appears to be a player to watch as does Joe Kile, who earned an assist in both games against the Knights. Kade Phipps was lights-out against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in that same series, allowing only two goals and stopped a combined 61 shots, making him the likely starter between the pipes this weekend.
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs continue to dominate the North American Hockey League as they sit in first place in the Midwest Division with a league-leading 69 points. Finland native Erkka Vanska leads the team in points with 45 in 42 games this season. Forwards Tanner Schachle, Hunter Wendt and Samuel Ruffin also sit with Vanska in the 40- point club with 41, 41 and 40 points respectively. Goaltenders Josh Benson and Logan Neaton each hold a 1.88 goals against average, so their projected goaltender is up in the air.
Your Tomahawks will be back at home on February 23 and 24 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. Until then, be sure to catch all of their road action on HockeyTV.com!
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: CARSON BRIERE
Carson Briere, a native from Haddonfield, New Jersey is in his first season with the Johnstown Tomahawks after being traded from the Philadelphia Rebels.
Prior to his time with the Tomahawks, Briere spent his first NAHL season with the Philadelphia Rebels where he played in three games with three assists. Briere started off the 2017-2018 with the Rebels where he played one game with one goal, before being traded to the Tomahawks.
During his time with the Tomahawks, Briere has played in 22 games with 13 points (six goals and seven assists). The 5’9 forward is seeing a lot of ice time this season with 23 total games played (seven goals and seven assists.)
Briere has scored three goals and has had three assists in the last four games. The Tomahawks have won the last three of their four games.
On January 19, the Tomahawks faced the Philadelphia Rebels. Briere’s goal retied the game up at 2-2 during the third period. The Tomahawks scored again with the assist from Briere, to take the lead, which would be enough to win the game.
The Tomahawks also recorded a sweep weekend at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Briere had the final goal of the game in overtime to defeat the Knights 2-1 on Saturday, January 27.
In Briere’s past 13 games, he has a total of 10 points (5 goals and 5 assists).