October 29, 2014

TheTomablog Will Go On Partial Hiatus Beginning Immediately

After much consideration I have decided that Thetomablog.com will go on partial hiatus beginning immediately and last indefinitely.

I have several reason's why I have made this decision. One of the reason's is because of other creative opportunities I'm working on that is starting to take up more of my time. Another reason I'll share with you now. When I first started this blog I did it because I was already tweeting a lot about the Tomahawks and wanted to do something more than just tweet. 

Doing simple searches I found a lot of news and things that the team was up to that the local news wasn't reporting, nor was the team itself. I thought a blog would be a great way to share these stories and more.

I have run the blog adding to it in some way everyday since Feb 2013. There has been some help from people along the way but 99.9% of the work has been written/created by myself. Running a blog of any type takes a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of passion. They say "find something you love and you'll never work a day in your life". I find this to be very true. Sure, running the blog has been a ton of work but it's something I have loved to do, so I never had a problem with it.

Recently though it's become less fun and felt more like work. There's no one reason why it's turned this way, it just has. Instead of saying this is the end of the blog I'd rather just say I'm taking a break from it. Maybe it'll be for a week. Maybe it'll be for a month. Maybe it'll be longer. Right now I'm not sure.

I won't be taking a complete break from it. I'll still update the Alumni page every week. After every home game I'll update the Attendance report, and I'm still working on putting together "Slap Shot: Then and Now Part 2". Any BIG breaking news I'll tweet it to all my followers and Facebook friends as well. But as for Weekend Previews, Game Reviews, and other content, you won't be seeing anything new posted for a while.

The blog has reached over 100,000 views, and a lot of great followers on Twitter and Facebook. I didn't want to just continue producing content that wasn't as good as it could be just because it was time to post something new.

It has taken a ton of work to gain all my readers and by taking a break from the blog it means the blog will definitely lose some of those followers and readers, but I still think this is the right thing for me to do at this time.

I didn't have to post this message but decided any hardcore readers deserves to know why there won't be any new content for a while.

For any team news other than what I'll still be updating on the blog please check NAHL.com, Johnstowntomahawks.com, and the Tomahawks official Twitter and Facebook pages.

I'll still be attending all the games cheering on the Tomahawks and keeping a close eye on the team, I'll just be taking a break reporting on them for a while. Hope everyone understands.

Let's Go 'Hawks!

Jon Kohan a.k.a. TheTomablog


October 24, 2014

Tomahawks First Home Game of Season Tomorrow Night (Weekend Preview)



The Johnstown Tomahawks have played nine regular season games so far this season but tomorrow night will be the first time the Tomahawks will play a home game at the War Memorial Arena.

Johnstown will take on the Keystone Ice Miners on Saturday night and then travel to Connellsville on Sunday for this weekend's home and home series.

Johnstown and Keystone have played each other one time so far this season. The game was the first of the season in Connellsville, where the Ice Miners picked up the victory, 5-4.

The Tomahawks will be on the road again next weekend vs the Soo Eagles, so if you've been missing live hockey, this is your only chance to see it until November 7th when the Hawks are back home vs the Warriors.

Johnstown will be without goaltender Jake Gwillim as he was traded to the USHL. This leaves the Tomahawks' currently with only Ryan Bednard as their goaltender. You can read the whole press release here.

Johnstown comes into this weekend playing the least amount of games, nine, in the north division, with a record of 4-5-0, which is tied for last place. Keystone has played in thirteen games and have a record of 6-6-1, good for third place.

The Ice Miners made a trade this week adding Tommy Horn to their roster. Horn before this season, played with several of the Tomahawks' players with the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite. This season for Rio Grande, Horn played in five games scoring one goal.

Matt Jones leads Keystone in scoring with eight points on the season. In net Alex Blankenburg has made the most starts with ten. In those ten games he has a record of 4-5-1 and a save percentage of .902.

For Johnstown, Alex Jaeckle leads the team in scoring with eight points in nine games. Ryan Bednard, the only goalie currently on the team's roster has a record of 2-3-0 with a save percentage of .871. Bednard played in net vs the Ice Miners the first time these two teams played against each other this season.

North Division Scoreboard:

Friday

Soo
Michigan

Janesville
Coulee Region

Saturday

Soo
Michigan

Janesville
Coulee Region

Standings:


Video:

The NAHL this season is doing a show on their website called "Inside the NAHL". Here's the first episode:


Social:






October 23, 2014

Gwillim Moves to USHL

MUSKEGON, Michigan (October 23rd) – The Muskegon Lumberjacks have announced a trade with the Johnstown Tomahawks of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) in which the organization has obtained Goaltender Jacob Gwillim in exchange for future considerations.  With the addition of Gwillim, the Lumberjacks have reached the league-mandated maximum number of 23 players allowed on the active roster.
Gwillim, the Swartz Creek, Michigan native, appeared in four games for the Tomahawks this season posting a 2-1-0 record to go along with a 2.90 goals-against average and .918 save percentage after signing an NAHL tender during the middle of last season.
Prior to playing the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Gwillim spent two seasons from 2012-14 with the Lansing Capitals Midget Minor and Major teams compiling a 20-9-0 record to go along with a 1.81 goals-against average, .930 save percentage, and two shutouts in 31 appearances.
During the 2011-12 season, Gwillim helped backstop the Compuware Bantam Major squad recording a 12-2-1 record in 15 appearances while establishing a 1.75 goals-against average, .902 save percentage, and three shutouts.  In addition, Gwillim spent two seasons from 2009-11 with the Compuware youth hockey program appearing in 57 contests and notching a 33-11-8 record accompanied with a 1.86 goals-against average, .812 save percentage, and 12 shutouts.
The Lumberjacks return home this weekend with a pair of games against the rival Green Bay Gamblers tomorrow and Saturday at 7:15 pm, respectively.  Saturday’s game features “Trick-or-Treat with the Jacks” presented by 107.9 WMUS FM “The Moose” that includes costume contests and a special postgame Trick-or-Treat skate with the team for all ages.
To purchase tickets and take advantage of our discounted advance game day prices, fans can stop by the L.C. Walker Arena Box Office during the normal business hours of 10:00 am – 6:00 pm on Monday – Friday or call (231) 724-5225.
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are celebrating their Fifth Anniversary Season as proud members of the United States Hockey League, the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and the leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States.  The Lumberjacks’ organization prides itself on developing not just premier hockey talent, but also exceptional young men outside the arena of sports.  For more information, visit www.muskegonlumberjacks.com.  Muskegon Lumberjacks Hockey – A Cut Above!




October 13, 2014

Johnstown-Michigan Exchange Shutouts in Split Weekend



The Tomahawks shutout the Warriors on Friday night by the score of 4-0 only to the Warriors shutout the Tomahawks the on Saturday night 3-0. Johnstown is now 2-2 vs the Warriors this season. This was the last game on the road before their first home game on October 25th. This upcoming weekend Johnstown has another off week. It'll be their last off week until Christmas break.

We watched the game on Friday night and the team looked solid for the whole 60-minutes. We missed Saturday night's game so we can't really say if they played badly or not. Sure they were shutout, but Ryan Wischow has only allowed three goals in three games, so it can't be all blamed on Johnstown's offense.

Here are some links from the two games this weekend. Can't wait to finally see a game at the War Memorial Arena. 

Tomahawks 4-0 F Boxscore
Warriors 3-0 F Boxscore

Notes:

---Bednard picked up his first shutout of his NAHL career.

---Gwillim suffered his first loss of the season.

---Jaeckle scored a goal an assist this weekend giving him a team leading eight points. This is also a career high for Jaeckle as he scored seven points last season in thirty-five game.

---Tomahawks released goalie Brett Young prior to this weekend's pair of games against the warriors.




October 9, 2014

UPDATED: Tomahawks vs Warriors Game Preview



The Johnstown Tomahawks are back in action after having last weekend off. Just like the last time they were on the ice, Johnstown will travel to Flint Michigan to take on the Michigan Warriors. After starting the season 0-5, Michigan has won their last 3 of 4 giving them a record of 3-6 on the season. Johnstown comes into the game with a record of 3-4, which is good for six points. Six points in seven games is the best start to a season Johnstown has had so far in the brief history.

(This is the last away game before the Tomahawks head home on October 25th to take on the Keystone Ice Miners at the War Memorial)

These two teams have only played against each other twice so fair this season. In the only pair of games between the two teams, Johnstown and Michigan split, with Johnstown  winning the first game, 2-1, and Michigan winning the following game, 4-1.

Michigan comes into the game with the 14th best power play in the league, 7-for-43. Johnstown comes into action with the 15th best power play at 6-for-38.

On the penalty killing side, Michigan is 21st in the league, 77.8%. Johnstown is 18th in the league killing 79.5%

Players to Watch:

Alex Jaeckle: Coming into the weekend series Johnstown has four players tied for the team lead in points. Romano, Barnes, Recktenwald, and Jaeckle all have six points.

Jaeckle, on the season, has one goal and five assists with a plus two rating. Last season Jaeckle appeared in 35 games for the Tomahawks before missing the rest of the season due to injury. In those 35 games he had a total of seven points (two goals, five assists).

Jaeckle, who is one of three players on the current roster with a college commitment, is already having a solid year for the Tomahawks, both on the offensive side and defensive side of the puck.

Look this weekend for Jaeckle to continue with his exceptional play and tie (and pass) his junior career point totals, as Johnstown looks to bring home four big points in the North Division standings.

Garrison Sanipass: For Michigan's player to watch you can look upon a familiar face. Sanipass is second on the Warriors team in scoring, only one point behind Tyler Groat for the team lead. Sanipass was traded along with Ivan Osko two weeks ago to the Warriors for draft picks and other considerations.

Since changing locker rooms, Sanipass has seen his game take off. Last season with Johnstown, Sanipass played in a total of 40 games. In those 40 games he scored one goal and assisted on two others. This season he played in 2 games for Johnstown, and didn't have any points.

Now with Michigan, in only five games, Sanipass has six points (two goals, four assists). He also has a plus two rating.

Sanipass helped Michigan pick up their first win of the season, when he scored the game-winning goal against his former team two weeks ago in Michigan's 4-1 Saturday night win vs the Tomahwks. In that game he also had two assists.

Last weekend vs Keystone he had a goal and two assists helping the Warriors sweep the Ice Miners in Connellsville.

UPDATE- Bednard Makes College Commitment

Ryan Bednard has made his college commitment and will join his brother at the D1 ranks with Bowling Green State University. We haven't seen any official press release but Ryan did tweet about his college plans and he's also listed on NAHL.com as making the commitment. Congrats to Bednard. He joins, Alex Jaeckle and Connor Eckenrod as players who currently have college commitments on the Tomahawks' roster.

Current Standings:


Player Stats:

Michigan



Johnstown



North Division Scoreboard:

Friday:

MN Wilderness
Soo

Coulee Region
Janesville

Keystone
Springfield

Saturday:

MN Wilderness
Soo

Coulee Region
Janesville

Keystone
Springfield

Sunday:

Keystone
Springfield

Social:




October 1, 2014

Tomahawks' Lead League in Fighting Majors During September

Fight during 2012-2013 season (Tami Knopsnyder)
During this past offseason USA Hockey made a rule change concerning fighting. Fighting is still allowed in USA sanctioned junior hockey but the penalty for dropping the gloves has become more severe. When two players drop the gloves and solve things with their fists they'd always get five minutes for fighting. This season they still receive the five minutes for fighting but now they are also given a ten-minute misconduct penalty.

The reason USA Hockey made this adjustment was that they wanted to cut down on player injuries relating to fighting. They also saw the physical differences between the 20 year-olds in the league and the 16 year olds just coming into the league, and how lopsided and dangerous a fight between the two types of player could turn into.

So USA Hockey put in place the extra penalty to try and cut down fighting in junior hockey, while leaving it in the game for the instances where a fight has to happen. Well, so far into the young NAHL season fighting is down. As of 9/30/14 there has been a total of 10 fighting majors (five fights) in the NAHL. This is compared to last season when there was a total of 88 fighting majors in the first month of the season. Oddly enough, the league's most penalized team, the Johnstown Tomahawks (211 penalty minutes on the season) has been involved in three of those five fights.

The first fight in the league not involving the Tomahawks happened on September 19th between the Minnesota Wilderness and the Wichita Fall Wildcats. In the third period Austin Hingtgen (Wildcats) fought Billy Exell (Wilderness). Both players received the mandatory five minutes for fighting and ten minute misconduct penalties. Both players also received minors for slashing.

The other fight not taking place in a Tomahawks' game also involved the Wilderness, this time vs Fairbanks. Wilderness' Ivan Chukarov was given five for fighting and a game misconduct because the fight happened with less than five minutes in the game. Fairbanks did not get penalized for a fight in the scrum. Tommy Hall, now part of the Wilderness, picked up a roughing penalty on the play as well.

The three other fights in the league have happened during Johnstown games.

The Tomahawks got into their first fight at the NAHL Showcase vs the Austin Bruins late in the game. Zach Zech fought Brady Jones with about two minutes left in the game, which at that point had Austin winning 8-2.

Zech picked up 39 penalty minutes in that game, 37 of them because of the fight. Picking up extra minutes for instigating and removing his opponents helmet. This lead to a four game suspension for the first year Tomahawks' forward.

The second fight for the team was vs Odessa, which also happened in the NAHL Showcase. In the second period, Logan Hudson was jumped by Jake Hamilton after Hudson laid a huge hit on an Odessa player at the red line. Jake Hamiton got a game misconduct for instigating the fight.

The third fight of the season came against Michigan this past weekend on Saturday night. In the first period Johnstown's Dakoda Menslage fought Cam Jorgensen. Menslage picked up an extra minor on the play for cross checking.

Ten minute misconducts are up this season from this time last year. Last year in the month of September there were 38 ten-minute misconducts handed out. This year there was 42. Major penalties, not counting fights are also up this season. Last year there was five (1 spearing, 2 helmet removal/face mask, 1 head contact, and 1 slew foot, ). This year there has been nine (1 high stick, 1 boarding, 4 helmet removal/face mask, 2 head contact, and 1 kneeing).

One penalty that is down, which we thought would be up since there's less fights are checking from behind penalties. Last year after the first month of the season there was a total of 63 minors, double minors, and majors called for checking from behind. This year those calls are down, with 50 being called.

Teams and players have to be smarter this season in when/if they fight. Instead of sitting in the box for five minutes, you're now out of action for almost a whole period. Though it doesn't count as a power play opportunity, having someone out for a whole period does leave you with a shorter bench.

Do you think the fighting changes have made the game better or worse. Do you think it's cleaned it up or do you think we'll see more major penalties due to more players taking liberties? Let us know what you think, either making a comment here or on our Facebook/Twitter page.







September 30, 2014

NAHL Awards Gwillim with Honorable Mention

The NAHL yesterday released it's Division Stars of the Week and for the second straight week the Tomahawks had an honorable mention. Two weeks ago it was Joe Drabin that picked up the weekly honor and this past weekend one of the honorable mentions went to Johnstown goaltender, Jake Gwillim.

Gwillim only played in one game this weekend vs the Michigan Warriors but it was a dandy and almost perfect. Gwillim faced 49 shots in the game and only allowing one goal picking up the 2-1 win over Michigan. He's the only goalie for the Tomahawks' that doesn't have a loss yet as he stands on the season with a 2-0 record so far.

Gwillim has a current GAA of 2.86 and a save percentage of .921.

Last year with the Lancing Capitals, Gwillim posted a season record of 12-1-0. The most saves he made in a single game last season was 34 (did it twice).

To see all the Stars of the week for each division click here.


September 29, 2014

Tomahawks Split Weekend with Warriors

Johnstown Tomahawks split the weekend with the Michigan Warriors winning on Friday night, 2-1, and then dropping the second game, 4-1.

Johnstown had a hard time finding the net in both games, but on Friday night they were able to pull out the win with a great effort from Jake Gwillim in-between the pipes.

Johnstown scored both their goals in the first period on Friday night. First Luke Lynch scored a power player goal at 4:02. The assists went to Andrew Romano, and Alex Jaeckle. Then at 14:17 Andrew Romano scored with the assists going to Alex Jaeckle and Steven Quagliata.

Johnstown would then rely on Gwillim the rest of the way as he faced a total of 49 shots, only allowing one puck to get behind him. That lone goal came in the second period at 14:52 by AJ Marcinek. The assists went to Mitch Wedding and Nick Mosher.

Michigan out-shot Johnstown in the game 49-24. Johnstown only had five shots in the second period and then only three in the third.

Gwillim picked up the win and goes to 2-0 on the season. He also has a save percentage of .921 which is best among the three Tomahawks' goalies.

On Saturday night, Johnstown scored the first goal of the game in the second period. It was another power play goal for Johnstown, this time scored by Cam Bleck. The assists went to Trevor Recktenwald and Steve Quagliata.

After the Tomahawks' first goal, Michigan would score the next four straight to win the game.

Goals for Michigan came from Wedding, Sanipass, and two from Groat.

Sanipass's goal was the game winning goal. Sanipass also assisted on two other goals to give him three points on the night. A big game for Garrison against his former team. Ivan Osko also played in the game but didn't have any points. Osko also played on Friday night but didn't have any points either.

On Saturday, the teams tied each other with shots, 29 each.

Shane Bednard was in net and picked up the loss. He now has a record of 1-3 with a save percentage of .838

Note: Dakota Menslage had a fight in Saturday night's game. He dropped the gloves with Michigan's Cam Jorgensen. Jorgensen tried out with the Tomahawks last season but did not make the team.

The Tomahawks are off this weekend, and then head back to Michigan the following weekend to play the Warriors once again.

Current Standings:



Current Team Scoring Leaders:





September 25, 2014

Johnstown Tomahawks vs Michigan Warriors Preview (and other news)



The Johnstown Tomahawks are back in action this weekend as they take on the Michigan Warriors in Flint Michigan. The Tomahawks are 2-3 on the young season, and the Warriors are still looking for thier first win at 0-4.

Since the Tomahawks last took the ice they have made a few transactions, which included a trade with the team they are going to face this weekend. Osko and Sanipass were dealt to Michigan for draft picks and other considerations.

Zander Sorenson was reassigned to the West Michigan Hounds. Tommy Hall was released and signed in the NAHL with the Minnesota Wilderness. Finally, Johnstown was reassigned from the Chicago Steel, Casey Linkenheld, who was the Tomahawks first round draft pick last season.

This is the first match-up between these two teams this season. After this weekend the Tomahawks will have an off week before they travel back to Flint to take on the Michigan Warriors once again. So even though its the beginning of the season, the Tomahawks next four games are important ones.

So far, special teams wise, the Warriors have yet to score a power play goal. Currently they are 0 for 18. The Tomahawks are 4 for 29 which is good for 17th overall in the 24 team league.

On the penalty kill the Warriors are killing off 71.4% (20th) and the Tomahawks are killing at a rate of 84.4 (11th). If Johnstown can stay out of the penalty box this weekend and get a few power play opportunities they'll be sitting in the driver seat to bring home four points this weekend.

Tomahawks so far this season thought have a total of 170 penalty minutes which is the most in the NAHL. The Tomahawks will be without forward Zach Zech as he still has three games to serve in his suspension for his fight that took place vs the Austin Bruins during the NAHL Showcase.

A player that hasn't seen any action with the Tomahawks yet this season, Ryan Bochert has been cleared to play for the Tomahawks. Bochert has been off the ice since he received a concussion in an August car crash.

Tanner Barnes and Joe Drabin are tied for the Tomahawks team lead in points, both with five. For Michigan Ryan Burr leads his team with 2 points (both assists). As a team, Michigan has only scored 5 goals in four games this season, while giving up 18. Johnstown has scored 15 while giving up 23.

Ryan Bednard

Tonight is the USA Hockey All American Prospects Game where current Tomahawks' goalie, Ryan Bednard will be participating in the game. The game is airing tonight on the NHL network and the Johnstown Tomahawks are holding a viewing party at Quaker Steak and Lube at 7pm.

You can read more about the game with a this post we wrote a few days ago.

Speaking of Bednard, the NHL released their CSS Premliminary 2015 Players to Watch and Ryan Bednard is included on the list as a possible 2015 NHL draft pick. You can see the whole list of players and more information here.
Joe Drabin

The NAHL named its weekly division stars of the week and Joe Drabin was named as a North Division Honorable Mention. During the Showcase last weekend, Drabin scored two goals and assisted on three others for his five point on the season.

North Division Score Board

Here are the other North Division match ups taking place this weekend.

Friday:

Keystone
Soo

Janesville
Springfield

Saturday

Keystone
Soo

Springfield
Janesville

Sunday

Keystone
Michigan

Current Standings



Poll Results

Last week we asked if you think the Tomahawks season opener, October 25th will be a sellout. This is how you voted. We're not going to have a poll the next couple of weeks just to give you a heads up.



Social








September 23, 2014

Tomahawks Announce Roster Moves

Official Press Release 

Casey Linkenheld (George Lucas / Johnstown Tomahawks)
Johnstown, Pa. – The Johnstown Tomahawks today announced several roster moves, including the return of two contributors from last season.

Forward Joe Drabin returned to the Tomahawks last week, after spending the pre-season with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. Drabin, who scored 26 points (10G-16A) in 55 games for the Tomahawks last season, played in all games of last week's North American Hockey League Showcase, tallying five points (2 goals, 3 assists), including a goal and two assists in the Tomahawks 6-4 win against Odessa on Saturday.

Casey Linkenheld will also return to the Tomahawks this week following a stint with the Chicago Steel of the USHL. Linkenheld finished the 2013-14 season with eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 21 games with Johnstown after joining the team in January. Linkenheld finished last season on a hot streak, scoring four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in his last five regular season game and contributing two assists in three playoff games.

The Tomahawks also announced that forward Ryan Bochert has been cleared to resume play after sustaining a concussion during an August car accident. Bochert played for the Colorado Rampage AAA hockey team last season, scoring 24 points (13G-11A) in 36 games.

In corresponding moves and in compliance with the NAHL roster limits, the team announced that forward Zander Sorenson has been reassigned to the Western Michigan Hounds of the NAPHL, while Garrison Sanipass and Ivan Osko were traded to the Michigan Warriors in exchange for draft picks and other considerations. Forward Tommy Hall has been released to seek other opportunities.

“These moves allow these players the best opportunity to continue playing and developing their game, whether it is in Johnstown or elsewhere,” coach Mike Letizia said. “I also think this says a lot about the quality of play we have seen from our new players and the contributions they have made already.”

In other team news, forward Zach Zech has received an automatic suspension for his role in an altercation at the endFriday’s game against the Austin Bruins. Zech will miss four games, including last Saturday's 6-4 victory over Odessa. He will be eligible to return for the game against Michigan on Oct. 11.

The Tomahawks play on the road in Flint, Mich., this Friday and Saturday for their first games of the season against North Division Rivals the Michigan Warriors.

Johnstown's first home game will be played Saturday, Oct. 25., at the Cambria County War Memorial against the Keystone Ice Miners.

Single-game tickets and 14-game flex packages for the 2014-2015 season are now available, with flex plans starting at less than $99. For more information, visit www.johnstowntomahawks.com, call 814-536-4625, or stop by the Tomahawks office inside the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

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Tommy Hall will play for the Minnesota Wilderness one of our sources tells Thetomablog. Hall and Sanipass will be added to our Alumni page and we will keep track of their stats throughout the season.


NHL CSS Preliminary 2015 Players To Watch Features Current Tomahawks' Player


This list is a group of players that are NHL draft eligible for the upcoming NHL draft that'll take place in June. Along with the player's name, is a letter rating of  where the player may go (round wise) based on beginning of the season projections. One of the players listed is current Johnstown Tomahawks' goalie Ryan Bednard.


Below is the list of players from the NAHL featured on the list.



You can see the full list here.


Joe Drabin Named an Honorable Mention in NAHL Stars of the Week

Yesterday, the NAHL announced it's Division Stars of the Week for the games that took place during the NAHL showcase. Current Johnstown Tomahawks' forward and returning veteran, Joe Drabin, was selected as a North Division honorable mention.

Drabin this past week appeared in four games scoring two goals, had assists on three others, for a total of five points. His five points is tied for the team lead, as Tanner Barnes also had five points on the young season.

Drabin was set to play this season in the USHL for the Youngstown Phantoms but was reassigned to Johnstown just before the Tomahawks took on the Keystone Ice Miners in their NAHL season opener.

To go along with his five points, Drabin is also has a plus 1 on-ice rating, and ten penalty minutes.

Last year Drabin appeared in 55 games for the Tomahawks scoring 26 points, which was sixth best on the team.

The first star of the week in the North Division went to Soo Eagles' goalie, Jack Berry, with the 2nd star also going to a Soo's player, Sandis Zolmmanis.

The Soo Eagles currently hold first place in the North Division with eight points and a record of 4-2-0.

To see all the honorable mentions and the other division's stars of the week, check out the press release here.


September 22, 2014

NHL Network Airing CCM/USA Hockey All American Prospects Game

(Phil Andraychak / Johnstown Tomahawks)
If you have the NHL Network you'll be able to catch the CCM/USA Hockey All American Prospects Game, which of course will feature current Johnstown Tomahawks' goalie Ryan Bednard.

On the young season Bednard has a record of 1-2-0 with a GAA of 4.33 and a save percentage of .829.

You can read about the game via this USA Hockey press release. The game will take place on September 25th at 7 pm.

A week or so ago the Johnstown Tomahwks sent out their own press release about Ryan Bednard being named as one of two NAHL goalies to play in the Prosepects game. Below is that press release if you missed it when news first broke.

Via Johnstown Tomahawks

Johnstown Tomahawks rookie goaltender Ryan Bednard is one of two North American Hockey League players selected to appear in the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, to be played in Buffalo later this month.
The game features 42 of the top American-born prospects eligible for the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft.  The game is slated for Sept. 25 at First Niagra Center, the home of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.
Bednard, the younger brother of the Tomahawks' 2013-14 leading scorer Shane Bednard, will play for the team coached by former NHL player Mike Grier.  Former Pittsburgh Penguins player and head coach Eddie Olczyk will coach the opposing team.
The game will include 23 players appearing on NHL Central Scouting's “Futures List,” which highlights players viewed as potential picks within the first three rounds of next summer's NHL Entry Draft.
“It's a huge honor to be invited to play in the All-American Prospects Game,” Bednard said.  “It means a lot to be listed as one of the top four American-born goaltenders of this draft class.  It's going to be a quick, fast-paced game.  I'm ready for it and looking forward to the opportunity.”
With the Tomahawks set to begin their third season in the NAHL tomorrow, Bednard has only seen pre-season action in net for Johnstown so far this year.  In his Aug. 30 appearance in the exhibition game against the Springfield Pics of the USPHL, Bednard stopped 26 of 27.
“Ryan deserves this honor,” Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia said.  “What stands out about Ryan is his desire to improve and succeed. We literally have to drag him off the ice at times because he is constantly working at his game, very similar to his brother Shane. He never complains and does what is asked. I am looking forward to seeing how he develops and watching him grow in a Tomahawks uniform.”




September 20, 2014

Johnstown Wins Offensive Game 6-4



It wasn't a pretty game for the Tomahawks, but they found a way, and that's all that matters right now. Johnstown, having to come back in the game a couple of times found a way to beat Odessa 6-4.

Johnstown only had one power play goal (though NAHL says they didn't have any) and that power play became the game winning goal.

The game had ten goals between the two teams, and it also featured a fight. In the second period, Logan Hudson laid a huge hit at center ice. Odessa's Jake Hamilton jumped Hudson for the hit and the two began to exchange blows. Hudson received the automatic fighting major and ten minute misconduct while Hamilton got an extra instigator and game misconduct for the fight.

Johnstown outshot Odessa 34-22. Odessa was 1 for 8 on the power play and Johnstown was 1 for 8.

Ryan Bednard picked up the win for the Tomahawks which is Bednard's first NAHL win.

We'd write a detailed goal-by-goal summary but with so many goal, we forget how a couple of the goals went in, so instead here's the boxscore goal summary.


The Tomahawks now have a record of 2-3-0 on the young season. To compare, after five games in 2012-2013 Johnstown's record was 1-2-2, and after five in 2013-2014 was 1-3-1.

The Tomahawks are back in action next weekend when they take on the 0-4 Michigan Warriors in Flint Michigan.

Current Player Stats:




North Division Scoreboard:

These are the only games that were final at the posting of this blog.

Wichita Fall 4
Michigan 2

Corpus Christi 3
Keystone 4 SO

Current Standings:




Tomahawks Defeated by Austin 8-2 (Game Review and Odessa Preview)


The Johnstown Tomahawks lost to the Austin Bruins yesterday by the score of 8-2. There's not much to say about it. Not many positives you can come up with about the performance in yesterday's game. This wasn't the worst game the Tomahawks have ever played. Last season they suffered a loss to the Michigan Warriors by the score of 9-3. Though, saying that doesn't take any sting out of the whooping the team took yesterday.

The Tomahawks now have a record of 1-3-0 on the young season and are 1-2 in the NAHL Showcase, with one game remaining, which will be played today at 10 am EST against Odessa. The season is young so we're not getting too upset if we lose, and we're not getting too high when we win. This team hasn't found itself and there is still lots of time to do so.

Luckily the North Division hasn't really played all that well this week in the Showcase, so the Tomahawks haven't dug themselves into a deep hole in the standings. After today's game though, the Tomahawks will play the North division the rest of the season, except for four games against Fairbanks, and four against Kenai River.

The next two weekends that the Tomahawks will play are taking place vs Michigan. Michigan themselves are having a tough go of things so fair in the season. Tomahawks need a win today vs Odessa to give themselves some confidence and a little momentum into the Michigan games.

If the Tomahawks can win today that'll give them a Showcase record of 2-2 which is plenty to be happy about.

Looking back at last night's game. It was a tough one to watch. Trevor Recktenwald scored the team's first goal of the game to make the score 3-1. The assists went to Alex Jaeckle and Tanner Barnes. The team's next goal came in the second period, a shot by Joe Drabin, to make the score 8-2.

Towards the end of the game there was a fight between Zach Zech and Brady Jones. This year the fighting penalties are stricter which automatically got Zech 15 minutes in penalties. Because the fight happened with less than five minutes Zech racked up a few more extra minutes for the fight, including an instigator penalty, an instigator misconduct, an instigator game-misconduct, and the ref threw in an attempt to injury penalty. That last one we can't tell you what exactly happened because the camera for fasthockey didn't pick it up.

Pretty safe to say that for at least today's game, Zech won't be playing.

Here's the full boxscore from NAHL here.

Are there any positives to this game? Well, the Tomahawks penalty kill was good as Austin went 0-8 on the power play.

The Tomahawks had three players that weren't minuses in the game. Osko, Jaeckle, and Drabin.

And of course, whenever you lose you can always use it as a learning experiences, and yesterday, from a viewers stand point, it looked like a full day of school was in-session

Note: Tomahawks went 0-7 on the power play which included a few 5-3 opportunities. The chances to get back into this game, or even, not let it get out of hand where there, it just didn't happen this time around.

Here's the Johnstown Tomahawks official preview of today's match up against Odessa.

Let's go Hawks!


September 18, 2014

Topeka RoadRunners Blank the Johnstown Tomahawks 4-0



Not much to review about today's game since the Topeka RoadRunners shutout the Johnstown Tomahawks 4-0.

Though the score was one-sided the Tomahawks did outshot the RoadRunners 27-22 in the game.

Ryan Bednard played in net for Johnstown making 18 saves on 22 shots in the loss.

For Topeka, Matej Tomek picks up with the win turning away all 27 shots he faced in the game.

Johnstown went 0 for 7 on the power play and Topeka was 2 for 7.

Johnstown is back in action tomorrow when they take on the Austin Bruins at 5:30 Eastern time.

Scoring Summary:

via pointstreaks.com

Goals:


Penalties:


North Division Scoreboard:

Michigan 1
Aberdeen 5 F

Austin 4
Keystone 0 3rd period

Soo, Springfield, and Janesville are in action later today. We'll post those completed scored with the completed score from Keystone on tomorrows Picture Preview (Twitter and Facebook pages).





September 17, 2014

Tomahawks Win First Game of Season Over Aberdeen Wings 3-2



The Johnstown played well vs the Aberdeen Wings in the first game of their four-game schedule of the NAHL Showcase. Johnstown had a three goal lead, which was just enough to hold of a Wings comeback late in the third period.

Johnstown scored their first goal of the game in the first period when Steven Quagliata took a slap shot from the blue line, which on the way to the net, Andrew Romano deflected the puck, beating Chad Catt. That was the only goal of the period.

Johnstown would then add a goal in the second period while on the power play. A shot from the top of the circles by Alex Jaeckle beat Catt, giving the Tomahawks the 2-0. The assist went to forward Tanner Barnes. This Tomahawks' goal was also the only goal of the second period.

A little more than half way through the third period, Johnstown stuck again with a goal scored by Zach Zech to put the Tomahawks up by three goals. The assists went to Andrew Romano and Joe Drabin. The goal was the Tomahawks' second power play goal of the game.

Then Aberdeen begain their comeback first scoring a goal from Kyle Haak at 12:22 and then a goal from Ronnie Hein at 18:16.

Less then a minute to go in the game the Wings pulled their goalie for the extra attacker trying to get the game into overtime, but Johnstown's goaltender Jake Gwillim, who played a solid game in net, keep the game-tying goal from getting behind him. The buzzer rang and the Tomahawks won their first game of the regular season, 3-2.

Aberdeen outshot Johnstown 26-19.

Johnstown was 2 for 4 on the power play. Aberdeen was 0 for 4.

Gwillim picks up his first NAHL win in his first NAHL start.

The Tomahawks are back on the ice tomorrow vs the Topeka RoadRunners at 10 am CST.

In other North Division action, Michigan lost to Austin, 5-2. At the time of the posting of this article Keystone was losing in the 3rd period 2-1 to the RoadRunners, and the Soo Eagles are schedule to faceoff against Bismarck at 7:45 pm CST.

September 16, 2014

Johnstown Tomahawks 2014 NAHL Showcase Preview, Soo Eagle Report, and Blog Milestone

Cuckovich picture by Tami Knopsnyder
On highways across America, and hopefully in the skies above America for the Alaska teams, all 24 members of the NAHL are traveling to the 2014 NAHL Showcase. The showcase is held in Blaine, MN at the Schwan Super Rink. In four straight days, starting tomorrow and lasting until Saturday, every team in the league will play four regular season games. This is a big event not only because for 14 teams it's their season openers, but because of the amount of college, and NHL scouts on hand.

This is where a lot of players get seen by D1/D3 colleges and have a chance to make a lasting impression.  Here's more information about the Showcase via the NAHL's official website.


Celebrating its 12th anniversary this fall, the North American Hockey League (NAHL) Showcase Tournament has evolved into one of hockey's most prestigious and well-attended events of the entire season.
For scouting purposes, the five-day event from September 17-21, 2014, in which all 24 NAHL teams play four regular-season games, is a can't-miss for every NCAA program and NHL team as they get their first look at some of the best and brightest hockey talent North America has to offer.
Located in the northern Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Blaine, Minnesota, the Schwan Super Rink is the largest ice arena of its kind in the world. The state-of-the-art facility, a $21 million project totaling over 300,000 square feet, features eight sheets of ice under one roof. With all its varied amenities and services, the Schwan Super Rink is absolutely unique in the world of ice sport facilities.
The North American Prospects Hockey League's (NAPHL) first event of the season, will again be played in conjunction with the NAHL Showcase Tournament. Entering its sixth season, the NAPHL is made up of 32 teams, 16 Midget Major and 16 Midget Minor that compete at the Tier I level.
Traditionally, the NAHL Showcase Tournament attracts over 5,000 people in overall attendance, including more than 300 NCAA, junior and professional scouts.
With the continued inclusion of the NAPHL, the High Performance Hockey League (HPHL) and the Upper Midwest High School Elite League that total is expected to reach close to 10,000 this year.

The Johnstown Tomahawks come into the Showcase with one regular season game already under their belts. That game of course was a 5-4 loss to the Keystone Ice Miners. In the next four days the Tomahawks will play against four teams out of their division. Since it's the beginning of the season there's not much to analyze between the teams Johnstown will face, but here's a little information about the teams nonetheless.
All start times are Central Time Zone.

Johnstown vs Aberdeen 9/17/2014 at 4:45 pm
This will the second time in Johnstown's history that these two teams have played against each other. The only other meeting took place last season during the showcase where Johnstown picked up the victory in a 3-0 win over the Wings.
Johnstown outshot Aberdeen 27-19 and Collin DeAugustine posted the shutout for the Tomahawks.
Johnstown had goals by Brandon Reinholz, Alex Jaeckle, and Cody Gylling.
Out of the 20 players dressed in  that game for the Tomahawks, only Jaeckle and Recktenwald remain on the Tomahawks roster this season.
Aberdeen is coached by Francis Anzalone, who's father coached the Johnstown Chiefs for two seasons. Francis coached many youth teams in the Johnstown area and also helped the Tomahawks with a youth camp last offseason before taking an assistant coach job with the Wings.
During this past offseason Anazlone was promoted to the head coaching duties. He's the youngest head coach in the NAHL at only 26 years old.
Last season the Wings finished second in the Central division with a record of 38-18-4 good for 80 points which was just one point shy of tying Austin (at 81) for first place.
Topeka vs Johnstown 9/18/2014 at 10:00 am

Like vs Aberdeen the Tomahawks have only played Topeka one time in their short history and that game also was played last season at the NAHL Showcase. The Tomahawks lost vs the Roadrunners in a shootout, 6-5.
Topeka outshot Johnstown in the game 34-25. Brett Young played just over two periods before being replaced by DeAugustine. Young made 23 saves on 27 shots, but it was DeAugustine who picked up the loss in the shootout.
In the game Johnstown had goals from Shane Cuckovich, Jordan Watt, Shane Bednard, and two from Brandon Reinholz. The Tomahawks did not score any goals in the shootout.
Joining Cuckovich, and Young in that game who are on the current Tomahawks rosters was, Brady Bender, Dakota Menslage, Alex Jaeckle, and Trevor Recktenwald.
Topeka finished last season second in the South division with a record of 39-15-6 good for 84 points. Sadly, Topeka lost one of it's own players in the middle of the season when forward Peter Halash passed away in a car crash. The team played the rest of the 2013-2014 season in his honor and made it the whole way to semi-finals where they lost to the Austin Bruins. 
Johnstown vs Austin 9/19/2014 at 4:30 pm
Johnstown has only played Austin once and it came in the 2012 NAHL Showcase (the Tomahawks first season). Austin won that game in overtime, 5-4.
In the game Austin outshot Johnstown 25-22. Chris Truehl was in net for Johnstown and made 20 saves.
Johnstown had goals from Brandon Brossoit, Mitch Kontny, and two from Cody Gylling. 
Nobody in the game that night is any longer with the Tomahawks.
Last season Austin finished first in the Central division with a record of 40-19-1 good for 81 points. Austin made it the whole way to the NAHL Roberton Cup Finals before being swept by the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
Odessa vs Johnstown 9/20/2014 at 9:00 am
This is the first time that the two teams will meet each other in the NAHL. Last season Odessa finished in last place of the South division with a record of 15-40-5. That was an improvement from the 2012-2013 season when they finished in last place with a record of 6-51-3, good only for 15 points.
This season Odessa has played one game, which they won beating Wichita Falls 4-3. 

Other North Division Games in the Showcase
Here's the other games that will be taking place at the Showcase involving the North Division.
9/17/2014
Michigan vs Austin 

Keystone vs Topeka

Soo vs Bismarck
Springfield vs Brookings
Janesville vs Minot



9/18/2014

Aberdeen vs Michigan

Austin vs Keystone

Minot vs Soo
Bismarck vs Springfield
Brookings vs Janesville
Springfield vs Minot


9/19/2014


Soo vs Brookings

Janesville vs Bismarck

Springfield vs Minot

Keystone vs Aberdeen

Michigan vs Topeka


9/20/2014

Wichita Falls vs Michigan

Corpus Christi vs Keystone
Lone Star vs Janesville
Rio Grande Valley vs Soo
Amarillo vs Springfield


Last Weeks Poll Results
Last week on the blog we asked what you think the Tomahawks will average in attendance this season at the War Memorial Arena. This is how you voted:


Soo Eagles Report- Eagles Split First Weekend at Home
Photo and Article written by: Chelsea Zalewski
You can follow Chelsea on Twitter @Chelseazalewski
The Soo Eagles are off two a .500 start to the season after splitting their season and home opener series this past weekend against the Janesville Jets.  The Pullar was fairly full both nights with average attendance of 779 fans, which always makes for a fun environment for the games.
Friday night, the Eagles found themselves down 2-1 to the Jets as they made their exit from the ice after the second period with the lone goal by veteran Bruno Birzitis from veterans Sandis Zolmanis and Darren Brady.  The Eagles came out scoring just 24 seconds into the third period, scored by Raymond Brice from Denver Pierce and Chase Matson to tie it up.  With just six minutes left in the game it was Birzitis who found the back of the net again with assists from Nick Belger and Sandis Zolmanis to put the Eagles up 3-2.  They would be able to hold onto the lead to capture the win and the 2 points.  Soo Eagles goalie, Sean Keating, was solid between the pipes, facing 30 shots and making 28 saves.  Stars for Saturday’s games were Bruno Birzitis (*), Drew Callis from Janesville (**), and Raymond Brice (***).
On Saturday, both teams were frequent visitors to their respective penalty boxes, the teams sitting a total of 33 minutes on various infractions.  After the first period the Eagles were down 2-1 with the lone goal by Trevor Cope from Darren Brady and Bruno Birzitis.  The Jets began the second period with a quick goal to put the Eagle down 3-1. With just under 5 minutes left in the second Trevor Cope got another puck past Jets’ goalie Matt Jurusik to make the score 3-2. The Eagles opened up scoring with a goal by Sandis Zolmanis from Trevor Cope to tie up the score at 3-3.  The Jets answered with a goal midway through the third to put them back up 4-3.  The Eagles battled to the bitter end, even getting a goal that was waved off afterwards, much to the dismay of the players and fans that would have tied it up. Stars of the game were Brandon Schultz from Janesville (*), Trevor Cope (**), and Drew Callin from Janesville (***)
The Eagles head to the Blaine Showcase this week where they will square off against the Bismark, Minot, Brookings, and Rio Grande Valley.  Last year the team won just one of the four games in Blaine and the year before did not pick a win at all.  
The next Soo Eagles’ home games will be Friday, September 26 & 27th at Pullar Stadium against the Keystone Ice Miners (formally the Port Huron Falcons). Game times are 7:30p, and 7:00pm, respectively.
Blog Milestone: 100,000 views: Thank You


With the posting of this latest article we will hit over 100,000 views. This blog was started back in February of 2013 just as a way of bringing two loves together, hockey and writing. Since the first post, this blog has made a ton of new friends and have had opportunities to do things we probably never would have done otherwise.
TheTomablog would like to take a moment and thank some of the people that had helped make this blog possible. These are people that have helped along the way, in one way or another. Thanks again and here's to hopefully another 100,000 views to come.
(in no particular order.)
Rick Boyd
Mike Letizia
Jason Spence
Chad Mearns
Tami Knopsnyder
Eric Knopsnyder
Matt Williams
JuniorHockey.com
Mike Gosnell
Ginger Pollock
Nathan Kohan
Johnstown Tomahawks
Chelsea Zalewski
All of our Twitter follows and Facebook friends
and of course anyone that has stopped by and read at least one thing on this blog.
Thank you.