September 21, 2013

Tomahawks End Showcase on Winning Streak, Matt Meier, and Our Issue with the NAHL Showcase

Today's was the last game for the Johnstown Tomahawks in the 2013 NAHL Showcase and they were able to beat the Bismarck Bobcats by a score of 3-1. After starting the season 0-3-0, the Tomahawks have now been able to get at least a point in their last three games, and are currently on a two game winning streak.

Tami Knopsnyder (Copyright 2013)
At the start of the season the Tomahawks' penalty troubles and lack of having an effective penalty kill was most of their undoing. Though the team is still taking a few more penalties then they'd like, the players are killing penalties with authority and it's laying a good foundation to build momentum on. Today the Bobcats were 0 for 7 on the power play, and Johnstown was able to score a goal while on the penalty kill.

That goal sealed the deal for the Tomahawks and gave them the two goal lead. It wasn't your typical short handed goal though. Most short handed goals happen when a defending player jumps on a mistake and either speeds down the ice for a breakaway or on an odd man rush.

Shane Cuckovich picked up the lose puck and carried it to a few feet within the center red line, when he leaned back and fired a slap shot down the ice. Bismarck's goalie, Aaron Nelson came out to play it, when it quickly hit Nelson's stick and angled right into the empty net.

It was a timely goal as the Bobcats were mounting good offensive pressure, and only one goal away from tying the game. The goal by Cuckovich, which was his second of the season, took the wind out of Bismarck's sails and was the goal Johnstown needed.

Joe Drabin and Matthew Meier continue  their offensive ways in this mornings game, each scoring a goal, and assisting on another. Alex Jaeckle picked up the extra assists on the first goal bring him his first assist of the season.

The Johnstown Tomahawks went with Colin DeAugustine in net for the second straight game and you can't blame them after DeAugustine posted a shutout yesterday vs. the Adberdeen Wings.

For close to two periods it looked like DeAugustine was not going to allow a goal and keep his shutout streak going. The only goal he allowed came with less than a minute to go in the second period, and was scored by Huba Sekesi out in front, at close range.

In total DeAugustine faced 30 shots and turned away 29. DeAugustine improves his season record to 2-1-0-1 with a GAA of 2.36 and a saves percentage of .897

Johnstown went 0 for 6 on the power play.

Bismarck outshot Johnstown 30-26.

Johnstown now has a record of 2-3-1 good for five points and second place in the division.
Scoring Summary


Johnstown - Joe Drabin (Matthew Meier, Alex Jaeckle) 4:03


JohnstownMatthew Meier (Joe Drabin) 13:10
Bismarck - Huba Sekesi (Filip Starzynski, Nate Repensky) 19:06


Johnstown - Shane Cuckovich (short handed) (Brandon Reinholz) 6:10

Full NAHL Boxscore
1st College Commitment:

After yesterday's game, the Johnstown Tomahawks' announced that current forward, Matt Meier has verbally committed to play for Air Force Academy. Air Force is a Division 1 hockey program. Former Johnstown Tomahawks' goalie, Chris Truehl is another player that is currently playing for Air Force Academy.

Meier played a handful of games last year in the NAHL for Kenai River Brown Bears, where he was able to register five points in six games. So far this season with Johnstown, Meier has appeared in six games and has four points.

The Tomahawks are expected to have more about this year's first college commitment later. When they do we'll make sure to pass it along.

Problem with NAHL Showcase

The NAHL Showcase is a wonderful event and gives each player the chance to play in front of a ton of college and pro scouts. The weeks after the event you'll read about all of the players that have made college commitments because of this event, and that's truly a wonderful thing to see.

There is one problem that we have about the Showcase and it has nothing to do with the players, teams, fans, or anything on the ice. It's the attendance. Let us explain.

During the NAHL Showcase each team will play two home and two away games. The league counts how many fans are at each game and gives the attendance to that home team. For teams that don't average that many fans at their normal arena, it will make their numbers, overall average wise, for the season look a little better.

For teams like the Johnstown Tomahawks, it hurts their numbers.

Today's game, the NAHL reports there were 345 people in attendance, and Johnstown was the designated home team. So that 345 will go towards OUR overall attendance. The game before the NAHL had listed the total attendance as 0, even though that wasn't the case. Guess what? That number goes into our average attendance numbers as well.

The season opener at the War Memorial this season saw a crowd of 3,025. On Sunday the team had a crowd of 2,023. This means our average attendance should be 2,524. Instead, the league factors in the "0" showcase game, and the "345" game, dropping our average attendance to around 1,348 a game.

If a game isn't being played in the city the team is from, and especially in the building their fans come to, it shouldn't be factored into that team's attendance.

This is an issue that's been brought up before on other sites with everyone agreeing that the league should not factor in attendance during the showcase.

In this age were teams stay or leave cities because of the average attendance and people who rating teams (and those team's fan bases off of average attendance), is something that shouldn't be factored in. For the die hard fans, they know the real numbers, but for the average fan, or someone not close to the game, the "wrong" numbers are all they'll see.

The NAHL needs to change this and it should be changed for next season and then from there after.

What do you think? Let us know with a comment.

Current Player Stats:

(click to enlarge)

Off to Soo

The Tomahawks will now head to Soo to play three games next weekend. Of course we'll have a weekend preview later next week, and the big storyline that we're looking forward to is Colin Brennan possibly playing at least one game for the Tomahawks. Should be fun.

North Division Scoreboard:

Port Huron 4
Corpus Christi 3 SO Boxscore

Rio Grande Valley 2
Soo 1 SO Boxscore  JB Baker scored the shootout game winner vs Colin Brennan

MN Wilderness





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AJB said...

I have a question concerning the attendance issue. Since all 24 teams are basically in the same boat with attendance at the tournament and factoring in the attendance over an entire season, wouldn't this issue just wash out?

Jon Kohan said...

Yes, every team gets two games in the showcase "as a home game" so everyone's average will go up or down because of it, but the numbers are different.

my main thing is this. the showcase is mostly made up of Scouts, family members, friends, and some fans.

Places like Odessa, Wenatchee, Johnstown draw good crowds of fans that support their teams and come out to cheer their team on, when they're playing at their arena.

So the league at the end of the year, or anyone else can't say, "(insert team) had an average attendance with (insert number). Because those aren't really the numbers.

Each team plays 28 home games, and two home games at the showcase. Let's say a team get's exactly 2,500 every game (just to make things easy) but then in the showcase they only credit for 400 each game.

The season total would drop them to about 2,300 for the year. It's not that big of a difference, but it's not the real average attendance for that city and that team.

in the grand scheme of things it's not really a big issue, but it just doesn't make sense to say the attendance during the showcase.

Does the league want to boast about how many people came? Sure. they should do a total amount just for them, as a league, not each day for the teams.

Anonymous said...

I noticed this last season and questioned the league through an email. They advised me that for the showcase games in 2012 they used the 2011 average league attendance for the "home team's" showcase attendance. This made Johnstowns average attendance last season to be 2527 for 30 games. Counting only the 28 games played at the War Memorial, the Tomahawks attracted a total of 73,146 fans, for an actual average of 2,612 per game. What they are doing this season makes no sense. Maybe a few of us need to email the league again. More than likely they will respond.