NAHL Notebook: Tomahawks and Norsemen heat up, Gajan continues to impress and 12 players announce commitments
Johnstown and St. Cloud have earned points in nine of their last 10 games while Chippewa goaltender Adam Gajan has won six of his last eight starts
The NAHL schedule features 30 games from Thursday through Sunday. Jordan McAlpine takes a look around the league and some of the top stories heading into this weekend.
Tomahawks on a tear
The Johnstown Tomahawks are fifth in the East Division but they’re quickly making up ground. Johnstown has won nine of its last 10, the lone blemish being a 4-0 loss to division-leading Maryland.
However, the Tomahawks responded with a 4-2 win over Maryland last Saturday.
Back in the win column! ✔️ pic.twitter.com/NrH3NKkt0Q— Johnstown Tomahawks (@JohnstownHawks) February 19, 2023
Although they rank near the middle of the pack in most statistical categories, the Tomahawks are catching fire at the right time. They’ll have another tough test this weekend at New Jersey, followed by a three-game set at Maine next weekend.
Norsemen on the rise
Speaking of teams climbing the standings, St. Cloud has points in nine of its last 10 (8-1-0-1) and the Norsemen have done it mostly against teams they’ve been chasing.
St. Cloud is currently third in the Central Division, just one point behind second-place Aberdeen. St. Cloud will play division-leading Austin in a home-and-home this weekend.
St. Cloud goaltender Ethan Dahlmeir has won six of his last seven starts — the one outlier being a shootout loss on Feb. 4.
Wisconsin has earned points in six straight games (5-0-0-1) and the Windigo are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10.
Their last six games have been against division rivals too in Minnesota and Anchorage.
Big win in OT. Goal by Mickel to seal the win. Moffatt earns the win in net. The Windigo sit all alone in first place in the NAHL Midwest Division. pic.twitter.com/W3EK4QdEUz— Wisconsin Windigo (@WiscWindigo) February 19, 2023
Wisconsin swept division rival Minnesota last weekend and the Windigo now lead the Midwest Division with 55 points — two points ahead of Fairbanks. Wisconsin will host Chippewa for a pair of games this weekend.
Gajan continues to impress
Speaking of the Steel, Chippewa goaltender Adam Gajan has won six of his last eight starts, including last Saturday.
The UMD commit was named the Midwest Division Star of the Week last week and Gajan (12-9-0-1) has a .915 save percentage and 2.73 GAA this season.
“It is great to see him playing at such a high level,” Chippewa head coach Casey Mignone said.
“When he is playing like this, he exudes a confidence that our team builds off. I don’t know if I have ever been around another kid who could have handled what has been thrown at Adam this year.
“It is a testament to his preparation and his level of commitment to being the best player he can be.”
Stars of the Week announced
The NAHL announced its latest Stars of the Week on Monday.
Austin forward Dylan Cook (Central), Northeast forward Paul Minnehan (East), Springfield defenseman Marcus Broberg (East) and Odessa forward Dayne Hoyord (South) took home the respective honors.
Cook had five points last weekend (2-3-5) while Minnehan (2-6-8) and Hoyord (5-3-8) both racked up eight points over three games last weekend. Minnehan ranks second in the NAHL with 63 points.
Broberg also had a four-point weekend for Springfield and scored his first NAHL goal of the season.
NAHL Power Rankings return
The Rink Live released its latest edition of NAHL Power Rankings Wednesday morning. The top three teams - Oklahoma, Maryland and New Jersey - remained the same while the rest of the league saw a bunch of movement.
Johnstown, St. Cloud and Wisconsin were amongst the biggest risers.
A dozen NAHL players have announced their college commitment within the last two weeks, six of which (marked with asterisk) played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament earlier this month in Pittsburgh.
- Anthony Achille, F, Maine - Arizona State
F, Wisconsin - Alaska-Anchorage
- *David Andreychuk, F, Northeast - Yale
D, Austin - Brown
- *Nik Hong, F, St. Cloud - Army
- Sean Matthews, F, Danbury - Milwaukee School of Engineering (Division III)
- *Brad McNeil, F, Maryland - RPI
- Sylas Oberting, D, New Jersey - Tufts University (Division III)
F, Anchorage - Robert Morris
- Billy Renfrew, F, Fairbanks - Northern Michigan
- Drew Sutton, F, Oklahoma - Union
- *Walter Zacher, F, Austin - Robert Morris