When fans show up to a game in any sport, they don't really think about what it takes for the visiting team to get there. In the NHL, teams hop on a plane (sometimes even a train in the Northeast) and in a few hours they're at the next city waiting to play their next game.
Junior hockey is much different. Every time the team takes to the road it's by bus, unless of course they have to go to the other coast. It's not just a one time trip to a city and that's it. During the season you're bound to repeat that trip many times a year. For the Tomahawks, being the furthest team east, that means long days on the road.
In this post we'll take a look at a rough estimate on how many miles the Tomahawks' traveled this year.
The miles we post are taken from Bing.com and the directions are from the War Memorial Arena to the other team's arena. Sure the hotel might be further away, or they might not take that exact course, but, really? Let's not get that picky.
First, here's just the flat out miles to each arena from Johnstown's barn.
NAHL Showcase Blaine, Minnesota- 939 (13:49)
Jamestown- 150 (3:19)
Port Huron- 409 (6:17)
Flint- 402 (6:08)
Kalamazoo- 434 (6:34)
Soo- 676 (10:02)
Janesville- 629 (9:28)
Springfield- 648 (9:37)
Fresno- 929 (14:49) from Weatchee
Wenatchee- 2432 (n/a took plane)
Remember those drive times are probably longer than that because it's all on bus, and we're not adding time for all those fun blizzards you'll run into from time to time.
Now let's take a look at the schedule and see how many times the Tomahawks played these teams on the road.
Blaine, Minnesota- 1 (yes they played four games here but only had to get there once)
Jamestown- 4 (2 series)
Port Huron- 4 (2 series)
Flint- 4 (1 stand alone game, day after playing at Soo, three back to back games, same weekend)
Kalamazoo- 4 (2 series)
Soo- 4 (2 series)
Janesville- 1 series
Springfield- 1 Series
Fresno- 1 Series (came directly from Wenatchee)
Wenatchee- 1 Series
Okay, feel like I'm teaching class right now. So let's find out how many miles to each city now. Remember because they played back to back games they only had to travel to the hosting city once and back once for each trip.
Blaine, Minnesota- 1878
Port Huron- 1636
Total miles traveled this season= 16,953
In a perfect world, Johnstown would love to just play Jamestown on the road every game, since that's the shortest travel by miles and time, but Jamestown might not be back in the league next season due to off ice problems.
Kalamazoo won't be back next season which means the team will be able to save some traveling there, but that also means, four more road games somewhere else, which will add further travel.
I'd just like to point out that these miles don't include the 818 playoff miles to Port Huron, and that even though they had to travel that much this season, the team still had a better road record then a home record, 14-10-6.
So go figure.