The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

March 23, 2013

Tomahawks close to clinching playoff

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Tomahawks play two road games this weekend and need to gain only one point to clinch a playoff spot in the NAHL.

The North Division fourth-place Tomahawks travel to Wings West Arena to face the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings for two games in the penultimate series of the regular season.

The Tomahawks need only one point – earned through a victory or an overtime or shootout loss – in order to secure their place in the 2013 Robertson Cup Playoffs.

 Based upon their finish in the NAHL regular-season standings, the third- through sixth-place teams in the North Division only will compete in a “Play-in Series” that will result in two teams advancing to the division semifinals along with the first- and second-place teams, who receive opening-round byes.

The third-place team will face the sixth-place team, while the fourth-place team will face the fifth-place team.

The play-in match ups will consist of best-of-3 series during the first week of April. Dates will be announced soon.

Sault Ste. Marie, Jamestown, and Kalamazoo have clinched the first, second and third places, respectively, in the North Division.

In addition to earning one point, the Tomahawks can also clinch a spot in the Play-in Series if the seventh-place team, Springfield, loses one game in either regulation or overtime.

Both Johnstown and Springfield have four games remaining in their regular-season schedules. The Tomahawks will meet the Jr. K-Wings for the seventh time this season at 2 p.m. today. Johnstown carries a strong record against its division rival into the series, having never lost a game in regulation to Kalamazoo (4-0-2).

The Tomahawks (24-20-12) enter the weekend with an 11-9-6 road record while the Jr. K-Wings (34-17-5) are 18-8-2 at home.

Kalamazoo has struggled lately, losing four of its last five games in regulation (1-4-0).

The Tomahawks have gone 2-2-1 in their last five. Johnstown’s Mitch Kontny leads his team in points against the K-Wings with seven (5-2-7), and Jordan Watt and Casey Nelson have six points each.

The Tomahawks and Jr. K-Wings will play again at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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