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Evola Comes up Big in 2-1 Win

February 21, 2021 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - Johnstown Tomahawks News Release


The Johnstown Tomahawks secure their fourth win in just as many games against the Maryland Black Bears with a 2-1 win Sunday afternoon in Maryland.

Maryland put Johnstown's Sam Evola to the test early in the game as they sent shot after shot flying at the net, but the goaltender stood tall between the pipes and kept the puck out of the net. Right after a sequence of great saves by Evola, Reed Stark got called for hooking, to send out the Tomahawks penalty kill unit and put Evola to the test even more. The Tomahawks fought hard on the power play and lucked out as Maryland's Dylan Finlay got called for holding about halfway through the power play, which gave the Tomahawks some power-play time of their own then for a minute. Neither side's special teams found the back of the net and the 1st period would end scoreless.

The 2nd period opened with Maryland's Cam Gaudette getting called for hooking only 1:26 into the middle period to put special teams back to work for both sides. The Black Bears killed off the one and only penalty of the period, which kept things scoreless until the 8:13 mark of the period when Daniel Tkac found the back of the net off the pass from Will Margel, finally breaking the ice almost halfway through gameplay to give the Tomahawks a 1-0 lead. As time started to fade away in the period, the Black Bears were sending shot after shot towards Evola and he was flawless yet again in the 2nd, stopping all shots.

In the early stages of the 3rd period, Evola came up huge yet again as the Black Bears were merely inches away from tying up the game, but the Tomahawks gained possession, took the puck down the ice, and Will Margel got his fourth goal of the season to make it 2-0 for the Hawks. Things started to turn physical between the two teams as the period went on and there were an array of penalties in the period for both sides. As time dwindled away, it looked like things were pretty well put away for the afternoon. Maryland called a timeout with 2:25 left in the period, then pulled goaltender Michael Morelli for the extra-attacker to resume play. The sixth man on the iced paid off for the Black Bears as forward Josh Nixon cut the Tomahawks lead in half with only 2:06 remaining to make the score 2-1. Maryland pulled Morelli yet again in an attempt to force overtime, but the clock reached zero and the Tomahawks would be headed home with another four-point weekend sweep against the Black Bears. Sam Evola ended the game with 35 saves on 36 shots faced.

The Tomahawks are scheduled to face off against the New Jersey Titans Friday, February 26, and Saturday, February 27 in Middletown, New Jersey.


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