November 7, 2013

Springfield Jr Blues vs. Johnstown Tomahawks (Weekend Preview) UPDATED!

Game Photos by Tami Knopsnyder 2013 Copyright
(Make sure after you read this post you check out Mike Gosnell's Scouting Report for this weekends' match-up.)

It's that time again, but before we breakdown all the stats, news, and all the other good stuff, we wanted to make a quick announcement.

This weekend we won't have game wrap-ups like we always do. Why? We have the honor again this weekend to cover the team for the Tribune Democrat. We'll provide those thinks if you don't live in the Johnstown area or if you're not a Tribune subscriber.

On Sunday we might post our thoughts about the two games on here. If we do, we'll let you guys know.


It should be a good weekend as the Tomahawks' are holding two promotions and taking a look at, ticket sales for Friday's game look pretty good.

First, on Friday night (11/8/2013) is the second annual Faith and Family Night. Following the game, listen to a special guest talk about his walk in faith. Last year the speaker was, if we're not mistaken, Jesse Kessler. Puck drop is set for 7:30pm.

Then on Saturday night (11/8/2013) is Military Appreciation Night and U.S. Flag Giveaway. Support our armed forces and say “thank you” as we honor members of our military on this night. The Tomahawks will wear specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game with the proceeds going to local charities. Puck drop is set for 7pm.

Here's what the jersey looks like this year:

Last Meetings:

The Tomahawks and Jr. Blues have played each other twice this season, with both games taking place in Johnstown. Once again the teams faceoff in the War Memorial Arena. Johnstown won both previous meetings.

October 5th 2013- 3-2 Johnstown Boxscore
October 6th 2013- 3-2 SO Johnstown Boxscore

This will be the last time Springfield makes the trip to Johnstown. Johnstown will play four more games against Springfield, all in the Jr. Blues' barn.

Recent Transactions:


10-24-2013: Gambino, Mike (F) released



Eric Tien released on 11/7/2013
Cameron Smith signed. Smith made it to Johnstown main camp this season before he was cut.

Joe Drabin Called Up to USHL's Youngstown Phantoms
(Johnstown Tomahawks press release)
The Johnstown Tomahawks announced today that forward Joe Drabin has been called up by the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League.
    In 18 games for the Tomahawks this season, Drabin has scored 11 points (4-7-11) , second on the team behind Brandon Reinholz. His six point performance at the NAHL Showcase in September earned him the NAHL North Division Star of the Week award for the week of September 23.
    “That’s great news. Obviously, his play has given him a shot to play at the next level. He deserves it for sure,” said Tomahawks assistant coach Mike Letizia.
    Drabin joins goaltender Colin DeAugustine as Tomahawks players who have been called up to Youngstown this season.
Jesse Kessler Traded to the Wilderness

(Tomahawks press release)

The Johnstown Tomahawks announced today that defenseman Jesse Kessler has been traded to the Minnesota Wilderness in exchange for future assets.

Kessler, in his final year of junior eligibility, has played 16 games with the Tomahawks this season, with two assists.  He has been a key member of the Tomahawks’ defensive corps since the start of the 2012-13 season, playing 77 total career games with Johnstown.

“We are thankful for the time Jesse has spent here,” Tomahawks General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations Rick Boyd said.  “We know the fans appreciated the efforts he put forth on the ice, as did everyone in the Tomahawks organization.

 “With the recruiting we did in the offseason, we found ourselves very strong defensively, which put us in position to move a player of his caliber,” Boyd said.  “Acquiring tenders and assets is very valuable when trying to improve our team down the stretch.”

Kessler said he will miss the city of Johnstown and playing for the Tomahawks.

 “It’s unfortunate that I have to leave, but that’s the nature of the game.  That’s hockey,” said Kessler, who thanked the Tomahawks organization and Johnstown’s fans for their support during his tenure in Johnstown. “It’s sad to leave Johnstown,” he said.  “I really found a home here.  I love the people, the town, and the city.  It’s been a great year-and-a-half of my life.”

Kessler also extended his appreciation to the Tomahawks ownership, Boyd, head coach Jason Spence, and assistant coach Mike Letizia.

“They’ve all been very good to me,” he said.  “I wish I could shake the hands of everyone in the ownership group for all they’ve done for me.”

He also thanked his billet family, Mic and Cathy Lohr.

“They have been unbelievable billets.  They’re people I will talk to for the rest of my life.”
In Minnesota, Kessler will be reunited with the coaching staff he played for with the Alaska Avalanche during his rookie NAHL season in 2011-12.   He will also be re-united with former Tomahawks teammate Jaycob McCombs.

“It’s going to hurt for a bit, but I’ve got to get excited about this new opportunity.  I have more hockey to play.”



Springfield- 9-6-1 19points (T-3rd)
Johnstown- 9-8-1 19points (T-3rd)

Johnstown is 5-5-1 at home. Springfield is 4-3-1 on the road.
When Johnstown scores first they are 5-1-1.
When Johnstown leads after two periods they are 6-0. Springfield is 7-0.

Special Teams:

Power Play

Springfield- 22.4% (2nd) 13 for 58
Johnstown- 12.2% (16th) 10 for 82

Penalty Kill

Springfield- 88% (9th) 6 for 50
Johnstown- 81.6% (19th) 19 for 103

Top Scorers:

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Current Standings:
(click to enlarge)

GIF of the Week:

We have a feeling this is going to be the reaction of the fans Saturday watching the game. Why? Because the ref is scheduled to be Jonathon Paradise.

North Division Scoreboard:


Port Huron





Port Huron




Tomahawks TV:

The Tomahawks put out a weekly video on their Youtube channel. If you haven't seen one yet, you're missing out. Below is the newest video wrapping up last weekend. It has a funny segment with the Hall Brothers.


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