JOHNSTOWN, Dad. – Sam Evola produced one of the best weekends of his two seasons tenure with the NAHL’s Johnstown Tomahawks last weekend.
On Wednesday, Evola had more big news, this time regarding his commitment to Bowling Green State University’s NCAA Division I program. The Rochester, Michigan goalkeeper will immediately join the Falcons program, ending his solid career at Johnstown.
“My experience at Johnstown has been nothing short of amazing,” said Evola, who scored 31-14-4 in two seasons, with a save rate of 0.921 and 2.46 goals against average.
“Coaches, players, fans and my bats have made Johnstown feel like a real home away from home,” he said. “I’ve loved my time here, so it’s definitely bittersweet to leave for college.”
Evola ended his NAHL career on a high note with a 29-save shutout in a 4-0 win over the Jamestown Rebels on Saturday.
He made 34 stops in a 2-1 loss of overtime for the Rebels on Friday at the 1st Summit Arena.
This season, Evola is 13-8-2 with 2.73 goals against the average and a save rate of 0.917.
“It’s great to see Sam getting the chance to play Division I hockey,” said Tomahawks coach Mike Letizia. “He joins a long list of former Tomahawks who have played at Bowling Green. Sam has been a very important part of our team for the past year and a half. We wish him nothing but the best if he joins the Falcons immediately.”
Evola becomes the sixth former Tomahawks player to join the Bowling Green program. The others are Ryan Bednard, Shane Bednard, Niko Coffman, Casey Linkenheld and Matt Meier.
With Evola moving on, the Tomahawks third-place East Division goalkeeper tandem currently consists of 6-foot-3 Matthew O’Donnell and 6-2 Liam Gross.
O’Donnell recently joined Johnstown after going 7-4-4 with a 2.63 GAA and a 0.896 save percentage with the Wichita Falls Warriors. Connecticut native, De Waterbury has not appeared in an NAHL game since the Warriors’ 5-4 loss to Corpus Christi on Dec. 4.
Gross is 0-1-0 with the Tomahawks this season, having gone 2-0-0 with Johnstown in a short spell last season. The netminder from Fort Washington, Montgomery County, recently played 32:58 for the Tomahawks, stopping 10 of the 12 shots he faced in a December 17 loss in Maryland.
Mike Mastovich is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.