November 21, 2013

Port Huron Fighting Falcons vs. Johnstown Tomahawks (Weekend Preview)

Player pictures taken by Tami Knopsnyder


This weekend is going to look a lot like playoff hockey meets the WWE.

It's safe to save Port Huron doesn't like Johnstown and Johnstown doesn't like Port Huron.

The Tomahawks are 1-3-0 vs. the Fighting Falcons this season but their only win came the last time they played each other. It's possible to beat Port Huron, but it's going to take everything Johnstown has.

Port Huron comes into the weekend as the second best team in the league with a record of 15-2-4. They've also been able to get at least one point in their last ten games.

When you look at the players Port Huron has, they don't have a ton of superstars, what they do have is some of the best goaltending around, and players that play their systems perfectly.

Johnstown comes into the weekend with a record of 12-9-1 good for 3rd place in the North Division.

There has been some fans wanting head coach Jason Spence fired. We'll save that topic for a rainy day, but we'll say now for the time being, "That's ridiculous".

Moving on.

This is the last weekend the Tomahawks play at home until the end of December. After two games, they return to the road again and will not see home ice till January 24th and 25th, vs. Michigan.

Breakdown:

Past Meetings

9/14 Port Huron 3-1 Boxscore
9/15 Port Huron 5-1 Boxscore
11/2 Port Huron 4-1 Boxscore
11/3 Johnstown 4-3 OT Boxscore

Port Huron

Away Record: 9-2-2

Power Play 19.1% (5th) 21 for 110
Penalty Kill 85.4% (13th) 12 for 82

Johnstown

Home: 8-6-1

Power Play 11.7% (17th) 11 for 94
Penalty Kill 80.5% (20th) 24 for 123

Leaders:

Port Huron
(click to enlarge)


Johnstown
(click to enlarge)


Standings:
(click to enlarge)


Game Thoughts:

---Port Huron gets a ton of scoring chances from inside the slot. They seem to overload on one side and then make a quick pass to the center slot. If Johnstown can remember about that high slot man it should limit some of Port Huron's chances.

---Alex Blankenburg is 9-0-0 this season. He has a save percentage of .955. We can't be selective on our shots. We've got to throw everything at him, and get traffic in front of him.

---Max Milosek is a good goaltender as well, but at times he seems to get distracted by guys around his crease. Johnstown has been able to get Milosek off of his game by being in his face all night long. This is something Johnstown needs to do again, but not take penalties in the process.

---Port Huron's neutual ice game is very strong. One of the reasons is because they play so well in the offensive zone. Johnstown hasn't been able to figure out how to counter this more than a few times. Instead of using the long pass, and connecting only a select amount of times, Johnstown needs to use their speed to get to the red line and then get it deep. But that's only the first half. Johnstown then needs to be hard on the puck to keep it in the zone. With the speed Johnstown has, this shouldn't be a problem, but the players have to be 100% commited to the system.

---Port Huron isn't the best team in the league on the penalty kill so if Johnstown can get the man advantage they have to create good chances. Quick shots from the D, and having Bednard be the power play quarterback will help their chances.

---This is the first weekend that we can remember that same ref will be officiating both games, Daniel Keenan. Whoever can get on his good side early will benefit all weekend long.

North Division Scoreboard:

Friday

Wenatchee
Michigan

Port Huron
Johnstown

Soo
Coulee Region

Janesville
Springfield

Saturday

Wenatchee
Michigan

Port Huron
Johnstown

Soo
Coulee Region

Janesville
Springfield


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johnstowntomahawks.com
nahl.com
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