The Johnstown Tomahawks return home for a pair of games against a New Jersey Titans team that’s on a six-game unbeaten streak.
Coach Mike Letizia’s 7-5-1 team had a regulation win and an overtime loss last weekend in Danbury, Connecticut. The Tomahawks are fourth in the NAHL East Division, four points behind second-place New Jersey.
“New Jersey is red-hot and scoring at an extremely high pace right now,” Letizia said. “They’ve always been a dynamic offensive team and righ tnow that has been shining through.”
New Jersey has scored 58 goals while opening 9-6-1, including the current 5-0-1 stretch.
“This is a weekend of games where taking care of details, work ethic and the ability to take care of the puck and play harder without it will be absolutely crucial,” Letizia said.
The Tomahawks and Titans will face off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.
The teams meet again at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Johnstown is 3-0-1 in its past four games after falling 4-3 in overtime on Oct. 22 at Danbury, before rebounding in a 4-0 shutout over the Jr. Hat Tricks last Saturday.
“Last week in Danbury we had a lot of production out of the (T.J.) Koufis-(Johnny) Ulicny-(David) Matousek line,” Letizia said. “Each of them scored. They assisted on each other’s goals. I felt they were dangerous most shifts when they were on the ice, and they were effective without the puck.”
Koufis had two goals and two assists last weekend. Ulicny had two goals and three points, and Matousek had a goal and three points.
Overall, Jake Black leads the Tomahawks with 12 goals and 19 points, followed by Zachary Murray with nine goals and 12 points.
Murray had a pair of goals in last Saturday’s win at Danbury.
Tomahawks goaltender Tommy Heaney had a 32-save shutout against the Jr. Hat Tricks. Sam Evola was solid in the overtime loss.
New Jersey is led by Tommy Bannister (11 goals, 22 points) and Brendan Dumas (five goals, 21 points). Goaltender Ben Charette is 3-1-0 and Andrew Takacs is 6-2-1.
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.