The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Tomahawks

October 25, 2013

Brennan returns home with shutout over Tomahawks

JOHNSTOWN — Colin Brennan had the first shutout in Johnstown Tomahawks history during the team’s inaugural North American Hockey League season last year.

Brennan backstopped the first NAHL shutout at Cambria County War Memorial Arena this NAHL season on Thursday night.

Unfortunately for the Tomahawks, Brennan made his 19 saves while wearing a Soo Eagles uniform as Johnstown fell 3-0 in front of 1,087 fans.

“It’s honestly pretty special,” said Brennan, who now has two shutouts at the War Memorial in as many seasons. “I had mixed emotions coming back. I was a little disappointed when I was released here. I took it to the chin.

“I love playing in this rink. I love the fans. A couple of them still remember me, which is cool.”

The Tomahawks never got in sync offensively on Thursday. When they did, Brennan was there to make the save.

“Colin played a great game,” Tomahawks coach Jason Spence said. “I know he would have been really excited to play. He stopped some good shots. We weren’t the better team tonight.”

The Tomahawks fell to 7-6-1 while Soo went over .500 at 6-5-3.

Brennan improved to 3-2-0.

“I was more concerned about just getting the win,” Brennan said when asked about recording the shutout. “I feel like our team is starting to really come together now.”

Spence faced a difficult choice in releasing Brennan on Sept. 5.

Brennan and Chris Truehl had the majority of work during the Tomahawks’ first season in 2012-13. The Chester, N.J., native went 7-8-5 with a 2.78 goals against average and .906 save percentage as a Tomahawk last season.

Brennan and his then-Johnstown teammates blanked visiting Jamestown, 5-0, on Dec. 14 for the  first shutout in Tomahawks history. His save total? 19.

This season, Johnstown added veteran goaltender Alex Okicki, who has played well with a 5-4-0 mark after Thursday.

The Hawks also had young prospects such as Brett Young, the current back-up, and Colin DeAugustine, who recently was a call up.

“It was extremely hard,” Spence said of releasing Brennan. “We had a 20-year-old goaltender who is playing really well (Okicki). We had youth backing us up for years to come. I don’t believe in keeping two 20-year-old goaltenders because you’ve got to look towards your future.”

Brennan realized the move was simply the business end of hockey at the Junior A Tier II level. He quickly adapted.

“After I got released from Johnstown I started to make some calls and send out some emails,” Brennan said. “(Soo) Coach Bruno (Bragagnolo) responded to my email 20 minutes later and gave me a call and said they were looking for another goalie.”

His Eagles teammates provided plenty of support Thursday. AJ Jarosz scored in the first period, Mike Sabatini converted a 5-on-3 in the second, and Jacob McDowell made it 3-0 in the third.

After the game, Brennan had a lengthy discussion with a college coach. He also greeted the Johnstown coaches and a few players in the hallway between the two lockerrooms.

“It’s a little different now because we’re on rival teams, but there are a lot of good guys over there,” Brennan said. “I wish them nothing but the best except against us.”

The Tomahawks weren’t at their best on Thursday.

Johnstown went 0 of 5 on the power play and was outshot 23-19.

“We couldn’t get anything going,” Spence said. “The power play was really slow. We took some bad penalties. Anytime we started getting anything going we’d get a power play and not do well with it or we’d get a penalty. We broke our momentum and got discouraged.

“There is no excuse for that. We’ve got to bounce back.”

The teams play at 7:30 tonight and again at 7 on Saturday at the War Memorial.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Tomahawks
  • Mike Letizia Tomahawks hand reins to former assistant

    Introductions? Orientations? Neither was necessary when the Johnstown Tomahawks named their new head coach on Tuesday morning.
    The new guy in charge handled the job for the past month and has been part of the organization since the North American Hockey League team moved to Johnstown in 2012.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAHL coming to Connellsville

    The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the Port Huron Fighting Falcons are reactivating and relocating their membership to Connellsville.
    The team will be renamed the Keystone Ice Miners and will start play next season.

    May 10, 2014

  • spence Tomahawks decide not to renew coach’s contract

    Rick Boyd didn’t look forward to his conversation with Jason Spence on Monday.
    The Johnstown Tomahawks general manager and the NAHL organization had made a difficult and potentially unpopular decision to not renew Spence’s contract as the Tomahawks coach.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spence, Jason Tomahawks won't renew Spence's contract

    The Johnstown Tomahawks will not renew head coach Jason Spence’s contract for the 2014-15 NAHL season, the team announced on Tuesday.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • horizontal hawks Fighting Falcons win playoff series against Tomahawks

    The third period of Game 3 of the NAHL North Division semifinal served as a quick primer of the Johnstown Tomahawks’ playoff fortunes against top-seeded Port Huron.
    Trailing by two goals going into the third, the Tomahawks ramped up the intensity, producing a goal early and a multitude of chances at an equalizer until the game’s final moments when goaltender Max Milosek stopped Jordan Watt’s breakaway try as the Cambria County War Memorial Arena’s horn sounded.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • ’Hawks need a win to survive

    At the moment, it’s not about advancing through the postseason for the Johnstown Tomahawks. It’s simply a case of surviving to play another day.

    April 11, 2014

  • Falcons clip Tomahawks in overtime

    The Johnstown Tomahawks squandered a pair of two-goal leads and fell 4-3 in overtime to Port Huron in Game 2 of the North Division semifinals on Friday night.
    Johnstown trails the best-of-5 series 2-0 and will try to avoid elimination when the series moves to Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Friday.

    April 5, 2014

  • Tomahawks drop Game 1 on road

    The Johnstown Tomahawks came back from an early two-goal deficit, but Jon Hall scored a third period goal to give the Port Huron Fighting Falcons the 3-2 win in Game 1 of the best-of-5 North Division semi-finals on Thursday night at McMorran Arena.
    The Fighting Falcons struck first, as Bryce VanHorn scored 1:39 into the first period. Logan Lambdin earned an assist on the goal.

    April 4, 2014

  • tomahawks okicki Tomahawks set to open postseason on road

    The Johnstown Tomahawks open the Robertson Cup playoffs tonight at Port Huron hoping to reclaim the form that enabled the second-year team to move near the top of the NAHL North Division a mere six weeks ago.
    Standing in the way of fourth-seeded Johnstown is No. 1 Port Huron, a team that planted itself firmly atop the division and never relented.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads