The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 19, 2012

Tomahawks back home for series


sports@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Tomahawks will return home to a familiar rink with a new look.

The NAHL team will face the Soo Eagles tonight and Saturday at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

Tonight’s 7 p.m. contest will start the “Pink at the Rink” weekend, as the playing surface at the War Memorial has been sprayed pink to raise awareness of breast cancer.

The Tomahawks (5-4-4) lost a pair of games to Soo (7-4-2) on the road last weekend but finished strong with a 4-2 win over the Michigan Warriors in Flint, Mich., on Sunday.

Jesse Kessler and Cody Gylling each had three points in the game as the Tomahawks won their first road contest of the season and moved within four points of first place in the North Division.

Goaltender Collin Brennan, acquired from the Janesville Jets last month, stopped 27 of 29 shots in his Tomahawks debut during the win over Michigan.

Gylling leads the team with 12 points, including four goals and eight assists. Brandon Brossoit is second with 10 points, including four goals. In fact, six different players have four goals.

Johnstown is 3-0-1 at the War Memorial, and the Tomahawks have won three in a row at home.

The Tomahawks have scored first in nine of their past 10 games.

Soo has earned points in seven straight games (6-0-1) after beating the visiting Tomahawks twice last weekend. The Eagles’ last regulation loss was on Sept. 22 against Kalamazoo.

Tonight begins an eight-game road trip for the Eagles, who are tied for second in the North with Kalamazoo (16 points).

Soo has two of the NAHL’s top scorers. Eric Rivard and Jorod VanWormer each were tied with Kenai River’s Matt Seidel for second in the league with 18 points. VanWormer had three assists in his last game against the Tomahawks, giving him seven consecutive games with at least one assist.

Goaltender Tyler Marble is 6-1-1 with a .939 save percentage. He had a season-high 57 saves against the Tomahawks in last Friday’s 5-4 overtime shootout win.

Soo is 2-2-1 on the road this season.

Notes: Johnstown has scored 14 goals on 74 power-play opportunities (18.9 percent) and is 55 of 66 on the penalty kill (84.9 percent). ... Casey Nelson leads the league defensemen with 44 shots on goal. ... The Tomahawks top the NAHL with 97 minor penalties. ... Johnstown, Texas and Kenai River are tied for the league lead with 14 power-play goals. ... Soo is 5 of 38 on the power play (13.2 percent) and 51 of 58 on the penalty kill (85.96 percent).