Road Trip Shifts to Johnstown
Friday, March 8th- 1st Summit Arena @ 7:30pm
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (20-24-4, 44pts.)
Johnstown Tomahawks (42-7-3, 87pts.)
Last Time Out
The Knights took two of three games against the Northeast Generals on a weekend that saw the club reach within a point of a playoff spot. Jacob Urban made his Knights debut in the Sunday finale, making 26 stops for his first NAHL shutout in a 2-0 win. Tyrone Bronte scored five minutes into the game for the game winner and Gabe Temple batted home an empty net goal late.
Johnstown last played on Wednesday, beating the Jamestown Rebels in overtime to lock up the first place seed in the NAHL’s East Division. Carson Briere scored in the final minute of regulation and the first minute into overtime to beat the Rebels and give Johnstown its NAHL-best 42nd win of the year.
Mastro of Ceremonies
After missing all of February, Knights forward Anthony Mastromonica returned form injury and skated in all three games on the weekend against Northeast. In his first game back, the 6’3″ shooter scored the first game-winning-goal of his NAHL career. Mastromonica has 12 points in 26 games with the grey and blue.
In the last meeting between the Knights and Tomahawks, Mastromonica scored against his former team. The 18-year-old registered two assists in 10 games with the cross state rival before being dealt to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earlier this season.
Pace of Pennington
It’s hard to argue that rookie defenseman Davis Pennington hasn’t been one of the most consistent players for Tom Kowal’s group this season. The Saline, MI native quietly put together a five game point steak where he tallied two goals and seven points before it was snapped on Sunday.
Pennington’s eight goals not only rank best among Wilkes-Barre defenders, but also seats him in a four way tie for 10th highest across NAHL defense scoring. The University of Nebraska-Omaha commit also sits behind only Shreveport’s CJ McGee for goals by a rookie defenseman.
Fellow blue liner and rookie, Jordan Strand doesn’t get enough attention either. At 20 points, he leads the club in defensive production and is second on the blue line in +/- rating. His point production has cooled down a little since the holiday break in December, but Strand remains reliable in his own end and efficient in break outs.
For What It’s Worth
The Knights are still in search of their first win against Johnstown this year, as the Tomahawks enter game nine of the season series up 8-0. That said, Wilkes-Barre forced overtime in both games the teams last played against one another in January.
Johnstown owns the 2-5 spots for top scorers in the league. Samuel Solensky leads the squad in points with 79, followed by Carson Briere (77), Cameron Hebert (70), and Oliver Benwell (63).
1st Summit Arena might as well be a graveyard for visiting teams. the Tomahawks are an unbelievable 24-1 at home. Their last loss was the home opener against Jamestown on October 5th. The Tomahawks have not felt defeat at home in 154 days.
Catch the live broadcast beginning at 7:30 on HockeyTV.