Tomahawks hope to build on winning ways when Jr. Hat Tricks visit | Sports


The Johnstown Tomahawks weekend will start a little later than usual, but the North American Hockey League team will be looking to keep the momentum going at the 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.

The Tomahawks will host the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks on Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.) in a pair of Eastern Division competitions.

Coach Mike Letizia’s side swept two home games against the Northeast Generals last weekend and sit fourth in the division.

“We have to find more consistency in our game,” Letizia said. “We’re always trying to build longer periods of games that we play the way we want.”

Johnstown (9-6-2) has 20 points.

Danbury (4-12-3) has 11 points and the Jr. Hat Tricks sit last in the East.

“Danbury are a team that really fight every night and play the game really hard,” Letizia said. “They just got a big win over New Jersey and they’ll be confident in town.”

The Tomahawks are 6-2-1 at home, recording 13 points.

The Jr. Hat Tricks are winless away (0-5-1) while allowing 30 goals against in six games.

Johnstown has 10 skaters who totaled at least 10 points. Jake Black, a Connecticut fighter, leads the team with 14 goals and 23 points, including three power play goals and three game winning goals.

Zachary Murray has nine goals and 15 points, while Jacob Badal has six goals and 14 points.

Stephen Kyrkostas has seven goals and 13 points, and Sean Ramsay has 11 assists and 12 points.

Tomahawks goaltender Salvatore Evola is 6-4-1 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

He won last Saturday’s game against Northeast.

Goalkeeper Tommy Heaney is 3-0 with a 2.20 GAA and .927 save percentage. He was in net for last Friday’s win against the Generals.

Sunday’s game will feature the popular “Undies Sunday” promotion. Fans are encouraged to bring a bundle of new underwear to throw on the ice after the Tomahawks’ first goal. The packages will be delivered to Victim Services Inc. in Johnstown.

Former US Olympic goaltender Ryan Zapolski is expected to sign autographs and take photos with fans during Sunday’s game. A graduate of Mercyhurst University and assistant coach of the Lakers, Zapolski competed in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

After this weekend, the Tomahawks will travel to Jamestown, New York on Wednesday for a midweek contest, then host the Rebels on November 26-27 at 1st Summit Arena.

“It’s going to be a very difficult weekend for us as we start a good game of hockey with essentially five games in seven days,” said Letizia.

Mike Mastovich is a sports journalist and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5083. Follow him on twitter @ Masty81.

Mike Mastovich is a sports journalist and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5083. Follow him on twitter @ Masty81.


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