Brendan Clark, Hayden Clark

Johnstown Tomahawks forward Brendan Clark, left, looks to get around Northeast Generals defenseman Hayden Clark during a North American Hockey League game at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, PA., Friday, Jan.1, 2021.

The Johnstown Tomahawks will play the USA Hockey National Team Development Program U-18 squad at noon Monday at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.

Fans will be permitted at the game. Admission is free, the Tomahawks announced on Friday.

The Tomahawks moved into first place in the NAHL East Division with a pair of one-sided victories over the visiting Northeast Generals, 8-0 on New Year’s Eve and 6-0 on New Year’s Day.

“As I have said all season long, this is a year like no other,” Tomahawks coach Mike Letizia said. “With all the constant scheduling changes and roadblocks, sometimes you have to improvise. They contacted us about the opportunity to come play in Johnstown, which I think shows how much our town and organization is respected throughout the hockey community.”

The Tomahawks split a pair of preseason games against the USA Hockey National Team Development Program U-17 squad in October – a 6-4 win and a 9-4 loss, both at the War Memorial.

The U-18 squad is a level higher than the younger squad.

“With this being the U-18 team, this is going to be an exciting challenge for our players,” Letizia said. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to play, as well as being able to have our fans back in the building for the game.”

The Tomahawks are 10-3-3 and have won four straight games despite multiple disruptions to the NAHL schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve definitely got a match for ourselves,” said Tomahawks forward Jay Ahearn, who had a hat trick in Friday’s 6-0 win over the Generals. “The boys are fired up. They’ve got a great team. It’s going to be a great test for us.” 

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

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