January 8, 2018

Five Stars from the Kenai River Brown Bear Series

After being swept by the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, the Johnstown Tomahawks turned the tables on Kenai River, another Alaska team, and swept the Brown Bears.

On Friday night, Johnstown defeated Kenai River, 3-1, in a game that the Tomahawks controlled all night long.

On Saturday night, the Tomahawks took the early lead, but then saw the Brown Bears score three straight goals in the remainder of the first period to give them a lead.

After neither team could score in the second period, it would take a valiant effort from the Tomahawks to comeback in the third period. They did just that, scoring the next three goals of the game, in the last ten minutes or so to defeat the Brown Bears, 4-3.

So, here's our five stars from this series. Sure, usually in hockey it's only three-stars, but three just wasn't enough to recognize the key players from this weekend.

Honorable Mention - David Schmidling

It was David's goal on Saturday night that gave the Tomahawks the 4-3 victory over the Brown Bears. Only his second goal of the season, he sure did make it count. It was his first goal since December 1, 2017 when he scored against the New Jersey Titans.

In 25 games with the Tomahawks he has eight points (two goals, six assists).

5. Penalty Killers

The Tomahawks penalty killers have been doing an outstanding job as of late. During Saturday's game, with the Tomahawks still down 3-1, in the third, and having to kill off a lenghy 5-on-3, the team did just that.

Not only did the Tomahawks kill off the two-man disadvantage and not allow the Brown Bears to take an even further lead, but it's this kill that swung the momentum over to the Tomahawks. From that point, the Tomahawks began and completed a great comeback, picking up the 4-3 win in regulation.

This weekend the Tomahawks were a perfect 10 for 10 on the penalty kill.

Against Fairbanks the Tomahawks were a perfect 8 for 8.

The weekend prior to that in Philadelphia the Tomahawks went 6 for 8.

And even before that weekend vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the Tomahawks completed another 10 for 10 weekend.

Currently the Tomahawks are ranked 16th on the penalty kill, killing off 77.6% of their penalties. The percentage is pretty low overall compared to what they've been doing lately because of that terrible start the Tomahawks had to the season.

4. Chris Trouba

Trouba was instrumental for the team's victory on Friday night as he assisted on two of the Tomahawks three goals.

His two-point night tied a personal high for him this season. His other two-point game came against the New Jersey Titans on December 1st.

Trouba has already passed his season point totals from last year, and he's done it in fewer games played. Last season, Trouba appeared in 34 games and registered five points (two goals, three assists). He also had 88 penalty minutes. This year, as an assistant captain, in 32 games he has eight points (all assists). He also has 72 penalty minutes.

3. Kade Phipps

Things could be a lot different if Phipps decided to join the Titans a few weeks ago when the New Jersey team was facing a bunch of goalie injuries and needed to find someone to play goal for them.

Since the Tomahawks have picked up Phipps, he as a record of 5-3-0 and a .931 save percentage. His save percentage combined with his save percentage while with the Aberdeen Wings earlier this season, gives him a .933 save percentage which is third best in the entire league.

He's been a steady force in net for the Tomahawks. In two of his three loses he's only given up two goals. That third loss, which came against Philadelphia, he allowed four.

2. Toby Sengvongxay

Since joining the Tomahawks earlier in the season, he's turned into one of the Tomahawks best defensmen and also the most offensively threatening, with his D-leading 12 points (one goal, 11 assists).

He's a very smooth skating player and seems to always be in the right position at both ends of the ice.

He currently leads the Tomahawks with a +3 on ice rating. One of the few players on the current roster to be a plus.

On Saturday night, Toby had two assists. He assisted on Carson Briere's goal to make the game 3-2 and then on Ben Schmidling's goal which tied the game.

1. Carson Briere

Briere had his best weekend as a Tomahawk scoring three points in two games. Even better, he has four points in his last four games. He's heating up at the exact right time of the season.

During this past weekend, Briere had a goal and two assists, two of those points came on Saturday night. His goal started the Tomahawks come back, pulling the Hawks within one goal. His assist then came on the game winning goal at 19:20 of the third period.

He now has eight points (three goals, five assists) in 15 games with the Tomahawks this season.

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