Johnstown will travel to the wonderful state of New Jersey, on Friday, to play an exhibition game against EJHL defending champions, the Jersey Hitmen, who this season will play in the USPHL. It'll be the first of four games, in three days, the Tomahawks will play this weekend.
This will be the first time that the coaching staff will be able to see how their team stacks up against a quality opponent. Which goalie will step up to show they want the number one spot? What forwards will show they deserve to fill the spots on the top line left vacant by Kontny and Gylling? Which defenseman will be able to provide offense now with Nelson gone?
All of these questions won't be answered after the first game, but it could provide a preview of what's to come.
The Jersey Hitmen had one of the best records in junior hockey last year, 39-6-0. They were an offensive power house, with great defense. They scored a league leading 246 goals, 63 more goals then the second best team in the league. They also gave up the least amount of goals in the league, 99.
The Hitmen have lost at least nine players from last year, but there is no doubt the team has replaced those players with the same caliber type of guys for this season. The hit men have an overall record of 252-111-31-19 in nine seasons. On top of that impressive all time record, the Hitmen have played five seasons where they had less then ten losses.
The Hitmen also have a very impressive 22 players with NCAA commitments.
Current Tomahawks' that have played in the EJHL:
Colin Brennan- Jersey Hitmen- 2011-2012
Brandon Reinholz- New England Jr. Huskies- 2011-2012
Mitch Hall- New England Jr. Huskies, Bay State Breakers- 2011-2012
Former Tomahawks' player:
Bobby Tritschler- Portland Jr. Pirates- 2012-2013
We asked for a current roster for the Jersey Hitmen's training camp, but they said they don't release that information, but will have a public roster for the game.
We have some eyes and ears at the game and hope to be able to provide you guys a boxscore of Friday's match up.
The game will not be shown on Fasthockey.com
The Tomahawks' currently have 32 players in camp, and have to be down to the league mandated 25 players by September 1st.
Extra: Here's our camp article about the goaltending situation this year. We called the article, "Brennan vs. Okicki".