September 5, 2013

Updated: Tomahawks Make Last Cut; Backup Goalies on the Move

In hockey, like every other spot, there are roster limits. In a perfect world a team would be able to carry as many players as they'd like. In the NAHL you can only carry 25 players for the first month of the season.

Photo Copyright Tami Knopsnyder
The Tomahawks' were able to cut the roster down to 26 and then had a difficult decision on their hands, as to figure out who would be that last man cut. Somebody had to be the odd man out, and unfortunately it was Jake Fairchild.

Fairchild played 47 games for the Johnstown Tomahawks last year and lead the team (and league) in penalty minutes (210 minutes total). Fairchild had one goal and six assists last season as well. Many would find it hard to believe but prior to last year, Fairchild had never fought in his junior hockey career.

As would be the case with any player being told they didn't make the roster, Fairchild was upset with the news. Instead of leaving in a rage, or trying to find somebody to blame, Fairchild has gone to work. A Tomahawks' player at heart, Fairchild has remained in Johnstown, doing everything he can on and off the ice to regain a roster spot.

Right now, it appears that Fairchild is on the wrong side of a numbers game, that all teams have to play. Injuries, poor play, could see Fairchild back into a Tomahawks' jersey.

Another possibility would be a trade. The Tomahawks are defensemen heavy right now, and with the team's struggles last season to score goals, the team might look to add even more offensive power.

Only time will tell, but don't rule out seeing Jake back with the Tomahawks this season.

Update: We have a new post on JuniorHockey.com and have information about Jake Fairchild, as he signed with a another team in the NAHL North Division.

Goaltending Shake Up:

Alex Okicki is still the Tomahawks' number one goalie, but the back up goaltending situation has changed, at least for the next couple of weeks.

Colin DeAugustine has been called up by the USHL Youngstown Phantoms. Youngstown has a goaltending injury, so DeAugustine will be backing up in Youngstown for their exhibition games this weekend.

DeAugustine may also have the opportunity to take part in USHL's Showcase with Youngstown. Like the NAHL showcase, tons of D-1 scouts will be in attendance looking for up and coming talent.

This move means, rookie netminder, Brett Young will be Okicki's backup for opening weekend vs. the Port Huron Fighting Falcons. Young was assigned to Frederick last week and will remain there this upcoming weekend to get more work in. He'll then join Johnstown early next week for the start of the NAHL 2013-2014 season.

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