May 20, 2013

If the Jamestown Ironmen Fold

During the season Kalamazoo announced that they wouldn't be back for the 2013-2014 season. Now it appears that the Jamestown Ironmen will be the next team not playing in the North Division in next season.

The team hasn't made an official announcement yet about them folding, but with the team running out of money (during the season), and no tryout camps schedule for this offseason, everything seems to be pointing in that direction. As a fan in general, it's sad to see a team not be able to make it. Johnstown lost their team, the Johnstown Chiefs, and I know what that feels like.

Sure, the Ironmen have only been in the league two years, and only averaged 667 fans, but to those fans it will be a sad day when the team moves out of Jamestown. Also as a fan of the Tomahawks, Jamestown was our closest rival which made quick road trips up to New York doable.

Jamestown just ended the season as North Division Champions. Any team would love to have some of the players they had on their team for next season. I know I'd like a few guys to come to Johnstown. What type of character do they have off the ice? I don't know, as I'm just learning the junior hockey game, and players (only one year under my belt) but I can tell you what kind of player each on is on the ice.

Jamestown has 11 players with a birth year of '93 or higher, which means they can still play junior hockey. Out of those 11 players, there are a few that would make any team better. Today we'll take a look at those players that could fit nicely into a Tomahawks' sweater.

Guys I'd Like to Have

Last season, Jamestown had four players from the Pittsburgh area play for their team. One of those players still eligible to play next season is Elliot Tisdale.

Tisdale is a third or fourth line player that plays a lot like JB Baker, agitating type of player, except he doesn't have the same offensive skill as Baker does. In 56 games he scored 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) and racked up 97 penalty minutes.

Baker was drafted in the USHL draft this season, and if he sticks with that club, the Tomahawks might want to fill his spot with another player of his type. Tisdale, being a local product, probably would like to play close to home again this season. Might be a good fit for both sides.

Johnstown will be looking for a solid number one goalie for this upcoming season, with the departure of Chris Truehl. If Brennan comes back to the Tomahawks', he might fit that role, but it's better to have two solid number ones battling for the number one spot then just having only one go to guy.

Blake Wojtala, backup to Ballmer for the second part of the season, is a '94 birth date and might get a look from Johnstown. I haven't seen Wojtala play, but looking at his stats he seems to be a decent goalie. His save percentage was below .900 for Odessa, but I'd give him some slack, as the Odessa Jackalopes only recorded six wins all season long.

The Ironmen's leading goal scorer this past season was Luc Gerdes. In 60 games he scored 48 points (27 goals, 21 assists) and was a healthy +15. Those totals would have made him the leading point scorer in Johnstown as well. Gylling lead the Tomahawks' in points with 45.

Another good forward for the Ironmen with another year to play junior hockey is Evan Ritt. Ritt was the third leading scorer on the Ironmen's roster, and finished the year with 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists) in 57 games. Another good two way player, he was able to get himself a +16 on ice rating.

Tyler Dunagan was another leading scorer for Jamestown, though he was only able to register one point vs Johnstown in six games. Total, Dunagan played in 60 games and scored 37 points (22 goals, 15 assists).
Other Players that are '93 or '94 birth years

Brett Szajner
Ryan Urso
Nathan Ropelewski
Huba Sekesi
Matthew Crockett
Kenny Curtis

Is there a player from Jamestown you'd like to play for the Tomahawks' next season? Share your thoughts in the comment second below or tell us on facebook. I look forward to what the other fans think.


Wildfan64 said...

As a fan from Weantchee, it is a very sad thing to lose you team, I know how it feels. I am truely sorry for those fans, and I hope the players can find another Tier 2 team to go to. Hopefully Jamestown and get another team in the future.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone for the support, we do love the Ironmen and hope to keep them here with local ownership for many years to come. The games against Johnstown were fun to watch and we hope to see more busloads of fans come to our arena.
The Ironmen got off to a rocky start by displacing the team that was playing here which upset many of the local hockey fans and then did very little in the way of marketing. Despite that we were getting 1000 people in the stands by the end of the season and should be able to get a lot more with local ownership and some grass roots support.
Tony Lazarony

Anonymous said...

the ironmen were a joke and not many people in jamestown even knew they existed

Jon Kohan said...

Personally, I hope Jamestown comes back into the league some day. For Johnstown it was a quick trip to play away, and we started to build a nice little rival with each other.

The city is a little bigger than Johnstown, and Jamestown has a nice arena. Hopefully the city will find a good owner that will put some money into the team and run it properly.

Thanks for checking out the blog!