Johnstown Tomahawks center ice logo

The Johnstown Tomahawks have won seven of their past 10 games entering a Friday contest against the Jamestown Rebels at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.

So have the Rebels.

Each team is playing well as the North American Hockey League season enters it stretch run.

Second-place Johnstown (28-13-4) has 60 points, seven off the pace of East Division-leading New Jersey. Fifth-place Jamestown (18-25-3) has 39 points.

Coach Mike Letizia’s Tomahawks have held the upper hand with a 5-2-1 record in the season series against Jamestown heading into games Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m.).

“We know we have our hands full this weekend with these guys,” Letizia said. 

“They are playing very strong hockey right now and are always a difficult team to play against, and are coached very well. 

“We have to be committed to bringing our very best work ethic, and willing to play the right way all game long both Friday and Saturday. Our division is a very tight battle, and down the stretch here closing in on our final 15 games the stakes are only getting higher and the magnitude of the games are going to be raised to a new level."

The teams split a pair of games at Northwest Arena on Jan. 10-11. Tomahawks goaltender David Tomeo had the shutout in a 7-0 victory in the first game of the weekend, but the Rebels routed the Tomahawks 6-1 on Jan. 11.

Johnstown goaltender Alex Tracy had a 2-0 shutout over the Rebels on Dec. 18 at 1st Summit Arena. Overall, Tomeo is 16-7-2 with a 2.76 goals against average, and Tracy is 12-4-1 with a 2.44 GAA.

The Tomahawks are 3-0-1 against Jamestown on home ice and are 2-2 on the road.

Johnstown has had balanced scoring with Christian Gorscak leading the team with 20 goals and 56 points. Max Kouznetsov (14-31-45), Carson Gallagher (18-21-39), Bennett Stockdale (10-29-39) and Tristan Poissant (13-22-35) also have 35 or more points.

The Rebels are led by Noah Finstorm’s 36 points, including 13 goals. Eric Olson (17-15-32) and Nick Siffringer (12-12-24) also are team leaders.

Goaltenders Noah West (12-19-1, 2.65, .917) and Jon Howe (6-6-2, 3.46, .897) share duties in net for the Rebels.

The Tomahawks will hold a Red Out Night on Friday as part of the Valentine’s Day game.

Letizia will be honored Saturday during the bobblehead giveaway coaches series. 

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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