August 30, 2013

Tomahawks Get Closer to 25-man Roster

For the die-hard fans it seems like the offseason has taken forever to come to an end. While it's not quite over yet, you feel the excitement building, with one step left. That last step? Getting the roster down to the 25-man roster limit.

Alex Okicki, Photo by Tami Knopsnyder (Copyright)
Currently there are 28 active players on the Tomahawks' roster, which means the Tomahawks have to cut three players from their roster for the September 1st deadline.

Johnstown has 4 goalies, 14 forwards, and 10 defenseman still in camp.

The Tomahawks' have taken into account, how the players have performed in camp this year, during the preseason games, what they've done it the past, and what they predict they'll be able to do in the future for the team.

With all of those things in mind, the Tomahawks' have assigned goaltender, Brett Young to the Frederick Freeze. The Freeze play at the Tier III level.

Johnstown has high hopes for Young, and he will start be the starter for the Freeze at least for the time being. After each weekend, Young will return to Johnstown to practice with the team, and the coaching staff will continue to work and evaluate the "Young" goaltender.

The location of Frederick is ideal for the Tomahawks as he can come up to Johnstown if there is an injury to one of the goalies, or if one of the current goalies' game goes down hill.

This move means that Colin DeAugustine has made the Tomahawks' 25-man roster. DeAugustine was the only goaltender that the team tendered during the season last year, and was very impressive in training camp so far.

Sending Young to the Freeze puts the Tomahawks roster down to 27.

This past Tuesday, the team made another decision about the goaltending, as they released Colin Brennan. As we've said many times before, Brennan had a split season last year. In the first half of the season he was one of the toughest goalies to beat. In the second half of the season it was a completely different story.

In one of our articles for Juniorhockey.com we looked at Brennan's stats overall and vs. the North Division. This is something that the coaching staff also had in mind (you would think) when they came to their decision. Brennan, now cut, can go play for any team in any league.

There was a chance to possibly play for a D-3 school in 2013-2014, but Brennan decided to try and play for another junior team in his last year of eligibility.

For the foreseeable future, Alex Okicki becomes the Johnstown Tomahawks' starting goalie. His great leadership on and off the ice, and his all time record, 33-20-6, lead to this decision.

With Brennan's release, the roster then stands at 26 players.

The Tomahawks have one more move to make by Sunday.

Looking at the players that are still in Johnstown, it would appear that a defenseman might be removed from the current roster.

Johnstown had a tough time scoring last season, so you would think that the Tomahawks' would keep, at least for now, all their forwards, and then re-evaluate things after the NAHL Showcase.

All 24 teams in the NAHL participate in the Showcase, and with every team in the league in one location, it's a perfect time for coaches and GM's to talk to each other about possible trades.

This is something that the Tomahawks' might do, and have enough defenseman on their current roster to possibly make a move for another high end forward if early games suggests the team may need more scoring.

The last cut to get down to 25 players should be released by the team on Sunday or early next week.

Note: The Tomahawks have five returning players on defense and with five new players coming into the fold, that last cut will be difficult to make, and no player is safe.

So who do you think is going to be the last cut for the Tomahawks? Comment below.

We'll keep you updated as the news breaks.

August 28, 2013

Content Schedule and New Features On the Tomablog

We started this blog last year in February and learned as we went along. We had no clue what people wanted to read, what information they wanted, and so on. After doing this blog for half a season and then the whole offseason, we've been learning what our readers enjoy, and what makes new readers come to our site.

Last year we made at least one post a day, and we hope to do that again this year when the season begins.

We've been gaining a following since we started the blog and have done things to make those numbers grow. Our work on this site has allowed us to write content for Juniorhockey.com, which in turn brought us more readers and brought more attention to the best team in the NAHL, the Johnstown Tomahawks.

As we continue to operate this site, we try and come up with more exciting content and new features. At the same time we try to post at the same time of day so people know when we have new content. Last year we had a tentative schedule for when we were going to post things, but sometimes we didn't stick to that schedule.

Now going into our first full season covering the Tomahawks, and having some competition for readers, we need to set ourselves apart from everyone else.

That's what we're going to talk about today. The season is only a few weeks away and we want to go over what you can expect from our blog throughout the season, and when you can except to see new content posted each week. Let's begin.

First, here's what content you can expect during the season. We'll go further into the details in a few moments. Second, you can see the content schedule we'll be sticking to, throughout the 2013-2014 season.



1.  Game Previews

This is something we did last year and never thought we should stop. Before each weekend, we'll preview the match up. We'll have all the stats you could ever need, for not only the Tomahawks but their opponent. We'll have the latest news for both teams, who's in the lineup and who's out. Standings. History between the teams playing. Keys to the game, and much more, to get you ready for that weekend's games.

2. In Depth Game Reviews

After the game is over, both home and away, we'll have the game recap. We'll have the boxscores, three stars of the game, action photos from Tami Knopsnyder, goal charts, our thoughts on the game, links from the Johnstown Tomahawks, the Tribune Democrat, and much more.

3.  Out of Town Scoreboard

During our game reviews and throughout the week we'll keep you updated on the scores involving the other teams in the North Division. As the playoffs get closers we'll go more in depth with our out of town scoreboard so you know exactly what's happening, as teams battle for playoff spots.

4. Where are They Now Updates

This is something we did last year from time to time, and we're going to do it again this year. Not every player that starts the season with the Tomahawks will stay with the team. Some might be released, some might be traded, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't know how they are doing with their new team. We'll provide updates on those players all season long. Also we'll check up with players that played with the team last year, aren't in college yet, and are playing elsewhere.

5. Player Interviews

From time to time we'll chat with players about the season, what's going on off the ice, their future plans, and much more.

6. Breaking News

Tomahawks make a trade, sign a player, do something in the community, we'll tell you all about it.

7. College Watch (New)

Since the Tomahawks' now have a few players playing at the college level this season, we'll update you on how they're playing, and we might even have a few interviews with them during the season. This is a feature that will start in the middle of October 2013.

8. This Week in Tomahawks History (New)

Each day we'll look back and see what was going on with the Tomahawks' exactly a year ago to the day. For people that love trivia, you'll love this new feature.

9. Around the NAHL North Division (New)

At least once a week we'll tell you all the latest news around the NAHL North Division so you'll be up-to-date with all the Tomahawks' rivals.

Bonus: Tomahawks Podcast (New)

We're still working on all the details for this, but we hope to have either a weekly, or monthly podcast, where we'll talk about the Tomahawks, have interviews with Players and Staff, and much more. When we get everything together we'll let you know.

This isn't the only things we'll be doing this year, we also love hearing from our readers on what they'd like to see on the blog, and we'll keep adding new features as the season goes along.


Content Schedule

The picture above is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a question, please feel free to comment on this post, ask us on Facebook or Twitter, or send us an email, thetomablog@gmail.com 

All content will be on TheTomablog except for our Weekend Review, that'll be posted on Juniorhockey.com



August 23, 2013

Exhibition Weekend Schedule (Updated with Scores)

This article was last updated 8/26/2013 at 1:20pm

Johnstown Tomahawks Preseason Record: 3-1-0

Updated: Here's our link to the recap of this weekend's games. Includes a couple of quotes and the first roster move of camp. The article is titled, "Johnstown, 3-1-0 in Weekend Preseason Games". Hope you enjoy.

Scoreboard:

Friday: Jersey Hitment 4 Johnstown Tomahawks 0 F. Here's a game summary from the USPHL

Saturday: Johnstown 4 Springfield 2 F
In goal was Colin Brennan
Johnstown goals by: Tyler Basham, Jordan Watt (2), and Jacob McCombs.

Saturday Night:
Johnstown 5 Nepean 1 F
Shots: 36-19 Johnstown
Colin DeAugustine in net for Johnstown
Goal scorers: Brandon Reinholz, Eric Tein, Trevor Recktenwald, Matt Meier, Joe Drabin

Sunday Morning:
Johnstown 4 Raiders 2 F
Shots: 37-14 Johnstown
Brett Young was in net for Johnstown
Goals: Eric Tein, Jordan Watt (2)

Knowing the Opponent:

Springfield Pics

Last season Springfield played in the EJHL, the same league that the Hitmen played their regular season games in. Last year the Pics finished with a record of 24-17-1-3.

Nepean Raiders

The Raiders are from the CCHL (Central Canada Hockey League). Last year the team finished with a record of 38-20-4, and made it the whole way to the league finals, losing to the Cornwall Colts.

All remaining games will take place at the Ice Vault in Wayne NJ.

We'll do our best to update you on scores and news from the games the rest of this weekend.

Make you follow us either on Twitter or Facebook to get those updates.

LET'S GO 'HAWKS!

Tomahawks vs. Hitmen: Preseason Game One

The Johnstown Tomahawks' will have a week of training camp under their belts come today. Throughout the offseason the team has held several scrimmage games to evaluate players that have tried to make the club during open camps. Today (Friday 8/23/2013) the team will play their first exhibition game that isn't between two teams made up of Tomahawks' player.

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".

August 15, 2013

Corey Schafer heads to WSHL

Schafer, the Johnstown, Pa native, and former Johnstown Tomahawks' forward,  announced via Facebook today that he'll be playing the 2013-2014 season with the Missoula Maulers of the WSHL.

Schafer played for the Maulers in the 2011-2012 season. In 31 games, he scored 16 goals, 26 assists, good for 42 points.

Last season he played in the NAHL, first for the Wichita Falls Wildcats.  He appeared in 19 regular season games, registering three points, all assists. On January 10, 2013 he was traded to Johnstown for Tomahawks' defenseman, Kristaps Bazevics.

Schafer only appeared in seven games for the Tomahawks', due to injury. In seven games he had one assist and four penalty minutes.

Schafer is a '94 birth year and has two season of junior hockey eligibility left.




August 14, 2013

Tomahawks' 30 Day Experience Countdown Starts Friday

The Johnstown Tomahawks' were named the "NAHL 2012-2013 Organization of the Year", in their first season of play.

The Tomahawks' finished 5th in the league when it came to average attendance, 2527 per game.

The Tomahawks' also made it to the playoffs in their first season of action.

Some team's would sit back and take it easy after such a successful year, but the Tomahawks' aren't most teams. Instead they are counting down to the season opener, in a away that'll get their fans excited, get the attention of possible new fans, at the same time letting the players discover the city of Johnstown Pa and the surrounding area.

Here's what I'm talking about below.

(Official Team Press Releases)
By: Suzanne Grove

The Johnstown Tomahawks are thrilled to kick off their “30 Day Experience Countdown,” beginning on Fri., August 16, 2013. In anticipation of the Tomahawks 2013-14 Home Opener and HockeyFest on Sat., Sept. 14 at the War Memorial Arena, the team will both host and participate in a variety of community events over the next 30 days. In addition, each day fans can log on to www.JohnstownTomahawks.com, Facebook, and Twitter to see exactly what the team has in store for this season through fun videos, photos, and player content.
 
During each of the next 30 days, Tomahawks players, coaches, and staff will be further discovering the region at a number of events throughout Greater Johnstown, including locations in Somerset and Cambria counties. The organization will take this opportunity to introduce the players to the community and say thank you for the tremendous support over the past year. A complete schedule is outlined below.
 
“Our current training camp roster consists of players from nearly every corner of the U.S., most of whom are just now becoming acquainted with Johnstown and the surrounding areas,” said Team President Rick Bouchard. “Each of these men has already started to experience the overwhelming fan support for this team. Our goal is to fully introduce the players to the community. They are extremely excited to be a part of an area that loves hockey so much while also getting to interact directly with younger fans and charitable organizations over the next month or so.”
 
One highlight of the countdown is the Second Annual Open House & Select-a-Seat Night on Wednesday, Aug. 21 from 5-8 p.m. at the War Memorial Arena. During this event, which is open and free to the public, fans will have the opportunity to officially meet the 2013-14 team. Fans can also explore different seat and ticket options, purchase season tickets, view and purchase new merchandise, enjoy a special kids fun zone, and listen to a talk given by Head Coach Jason Spence.
 
 
30 Day Experience Countdown
 
Friday, August 16 – Richland Community Days
Time: 4 p.m. – dusk            Where: Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown 15904
The Tomahawks will be handing out information and raffling off chances to win Tomahawks Corn Hold Boards under the Community Tent.
 
Saturday, August 17 – Nanty Glo Fire Co. Parade (& Richland Community Days)
Time: 3 – 6 p.m.            Where: Fire Hall, 840 Chestnut St, Nanty Glo 15943
 
Players and Chopper will meet fans, sign autographs at 3 p.m., and participate in the parade starting at 5 p.m. to celebrate 100 years of the Nanty Glo Fire Company.
 
Richland Community Days
Time: 11 a.m. – dusk                        Where: Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown 15904
The team & Chopper will walk in Parade at 11 a.m. along Theater Drive.  The Tomahawks will be handing out information and raffling off chances to win Tomahawks Corn Hole Boards under the Community Tent.
 
Sunday, August 18 – J.A.H.A. Back to School Bash
Time: 1-5 p.m.                         Where: Peoples Natural Gas Park
We’ll help celebrate the Back to School Bash with tons of fun activities and entertainment for the entire family. The first 100 kids will receive backpacks to get them ready for back to school, which also have Tomahawks tickets inside.  Chopper and players will be around throughout the day meeting fans!
 
Monday, August 19 – Preseason Prep Camp at Planet Ice
Time: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.            Where: Planet Ice
Preseason Prep Camp for bantam and midget players working with Coach Mike Letizia and Tomahawks players to sharpen their skills.
 
Tuesday, August 20 – Children’s Aid Home of Somerset
Time: 2 p.m.                        Where: 1476 N. Center Ave, Somerset 15501
Players will be spending time with the kids who live there.
 
Wednesday, August 21 – Open House / Select–A–Seat
Time: 5-8 p.m.                         Where: War Memorial
This will serve as the first opportunity for fans to meet the new team, purchase single game tickets, and checkout the newest merchandise and gear.  New Season Ticket Holders can pick their seats. There will also be lots of family-friendly activities during the event!

August 12, 2013

Tomahawks' Announce 2013-2014 Promotional Schedule

Below is the press release from the Johnstown Tomahawks on this upcoming season's promotional schedule.

We're excited about the Jason Spence bobblehead doll night. We also loved the Puck n Paws night from last year and that's happening again this season. Last season a total of 84 dogs were brought to the game last season, if our memories are correct.

There's also four special jerseys the Tomahawks' will wear this season.

This news makes us even more excited for the season to start, which begins in 33 days.

The full list is included at the end of the press release.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JOHNSTOWN, PA – The Johnstown Tomahawks today announced their promotional schedule for the 2013-14 season. The organization looks forward to providing fans with the same exciting, value-packed theme nights, giveaways, and opportunities to support local charities, while also introducing several new promotions to celebrate the team’s second season in Johnstown.
 
The Tomahawks will play 28 home games of their 60-game season at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, beginning with two games vs. Port Huron on Sat., Sept. 14 and Sun., Sept. 15 at 7:30 and 3:00 p.m., respectively. The majority of home games will be played on Friday (9) and Saturday (12) nights with the team’s longest uninterrupted sequence of home games occurring Thurs. Oct. 24 – Sat. Nov. 23 (11).
 
Tomahawks players will don specialty jerseys on four occasions: Faceoff Against Cancer/Pink at the Rink Weekend – Oct. 24 and 25; Military Appreciation Night – Nov. 9; Valentine’s Day – Feb. 14; and Guns & Hoses Night – Feb. 22. Fans will once again have the opportunity to bid on these game-worn jerseys with the funds raised going to a variety of charitable organizations.
 
The 2013-14 schedule will also feature several giveaways, including the following: Jason Spence bobblehead; Magnetic schedule; team poster; White-out Shirts; Tomahawks dog bandanas; Cowbells; Pink rally towels; Mini U.S. flags; special Valentine’s Day giveaway; and souvenir pucks. Fan Appreciation Weekend, set for the last homestand of the season, will occur during the weekend of Friday, March 21, 2014, and feature $20,000 worth of gift card giveaways. The team will celebrate the final home game of the year on Sun. March 23 with “Shirts Off Our Backs,” with selected fans winning players’ game-worn jerseys from that night, presented personally by the players.
 
The Tomahawks will soon announce information regarding the sale of single-game tickets and the Second Annual Select-a-Seat and Open House.
 
Promotional Schedule
 

August 7, 2013

New Tomahawks' Posts Soon

Just wanted to write something quick to keep everybody updated with what's going on with the site.

We haven't posted anything new in a few days, but we hope to soon. In Johnstown, the AAABA is currently going on and we (Jon Kohan) have been doing some freelance work reporting on the games. Once the tournament is over you should see more updates to this site getting you ready for the upcoming season.

Last day of AAABA baseball is this Sunday.

If anything major happens involving the Johnstown Tomahawks' we'll make time to post it.

Tomahawks' open up their training camp on August 19, and we don't know about you, but we're excited.

If you're bored, you can check out older articles on here, or you can head over to our Juniorhockey.com pages to see exclusive content we write just for them. Click on the names below for the content.

Jon Kohan
Michael Gosnell

While we're away, send us some story ideas you'd like to read on our blog. You might just see it in the future on this site. You contact us on Facebook or Twitter. If you'd like to write an e-mail, you can do that to, thetomablog@gmail.com


Of course, you should check out the team's official Facebook and Twitter page. Without this awesome team, we wouldn't have a site, a team to call our own, and the list could go on from there.
LET'S GO 'HAWKS!