January 31, 2014

Tomahawks Add Feisty-Scoring Defensman

From MnJHL.com
The Johnstown Tomahawks will play the Port Huron Fighting Falcons tonight and Saturday night with a new face in the Tomahawks' lineup. Eric Hewitt was called up from the MNJHL and should be in the lineup this weekend.

Hewitt, the Saginaw, MI native stands at 5'10, 170 lb, and is a 1996 birth year player.

This season Hewitt has played in 35 games for the Marquette Royals of the MNJHL. In those 35 games he has 19 points (6 goals, 13 assists) and 78 penalty minutes.

Assistant coach for the Royals, Cliff Cook wrote a story about the signing that you can read here. In the press release Hewitt says, "Johnstown was the only NAHL team I wanted to play for, and I want to thank the coaches and the entire Tomahawks organization for this opportunity.

Before joining the Royals this season, Hewitt was the 2012-2013 Player of the Year in the WSHL. Playing for the New Mexico Renegades, he appeared in 45 games recording 17 points (3 goals, 14 assists) and 61 penalty minutes.

As it stands right now, like several of the other players recently called up to Johnstown, this is a player getting a chance to show off what he can bring to the team as the team tries to get healthy, and could lead to getting a full time spot next year.

Just last weekend that was the case with Jake Houston.

Johnstown and Port Huron faceoff tonight at 7pm.

January 30, 2014

Last Meeting this Season vs. Port Huron, and Tomahawks Tender Two More Players

Another week is coming to an end which can only mean one thing, Johnstown Tomahawks' weekend preview time.

This weekend the Tomahawks are back in Port Huron to play two games vs. the first place Fighting Falcons. As we've stated in the last couple of posts, Johnstown is struggling a bit and will need to get back on the right track this weekend in Port Huron.

Earlier in the week, the Soo Eagles had a rare weeknight game, which saw them beat the Janesville Jets, 3-1. This moved Soo past Johnstown in the standings to third place, while Johnstown fell to fourth.

Just a reminder that only the top four teams in the division make the playoff's this season. With Johnstown having a total of 46 points, they're only one point way from Soo, who has 47 points. Michigan sits in second place with 48 points, and Port Huron is at the top of the division with 53 points.

Behind Johnstown is the Springfield Jr. Blues who currently have 43 points on the season, three back from Johnstown. Janesville is in last place with a total of 36 points.

So from here on out it's going to be fun and at the same time nerve racking watching the standings every night, but that's one of the things that make the lead up to playoff hockey so fun.

Let's not look too far ahead though, Johnstown has to get the job done in Port Huron this weekend.

There's some good news for the team as Shane Cuckovich has been cleared to play. Cuckovich has been out of Johnstown's lineup since January 5th.

Cuckovich has appeared in 31 games for the Tomahawks this season, scoring 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists), is a plus 5 and has 19 penalty minutes.

This is the last time Johnstown and Port Huron faceoff against each other this regular season. So far both teams are .500 this year against each other.

Johnstown has a current road record of 10-11-1. Port Huron's home record this season is 12-5-3.

We have some bad news, this Friday night's game will be officiated by Jonathon Paradise.

Tomahawks Tender Two More Players

Tami Knopsnyder 2014 Copyright
After his impressive weekend last weekend the Tomahawks have tendered Jake Houston for the 2014-2015 season. Houston has been playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite team this season. In 32 games this season he has 12 points (1 goal, 11 assists) and also 40 penalty minutes.

In the Tomahawks press release about the tendering of Houston they also mentioned that his teammate from the Penguins Elite, Luke Lynch has also been given a tender by the Tomahawks.

Lynch, another Pittsburgh, Pa native is the leading scorer for the Penguins Elite team, scoring 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) and has 55 penalty minutes in 31 games this season.

Lynch is a 1996 birth year player and stands at 6'1, 190lb.

We've updated these two players onto the Tender page.

Head to Head Stats:

Johnstown is 5 for 36 on the Power Play vs. Port Huron.
Port Huron is 9 for 50 on the Power Play vs. Johnstown.

Port Huron



North Division Schedule:


Port Huron

Coulee Region

MN Magicians


Port Huron

Coulee Region

MN Magicians


January 28, 2014

This Week in Tomahawks' History and Tomahawks' Cup Day 2 Results

This weekend the Tomahawks travel to Port Huron. A year ago the Johnstown Tomahawks hosted the Fighting Falcons at the War Memorial Arena.

In last season's two game series, Johnstown split with Port Huron winning the first game 3-2 and then losing the following night 5-4.

In the first game back on January 31, 2013 Johnstown scored the first three goals of the game and then held on for the win. Tomahawks got goals from Casey Nelson, JB Baker, and Brandon Reinholz.

In net, that night was Chris Truehl, who picked up the win for the Tomahawks.

On Febuaray 1, 2013 Port Huron four goals in a row (three in the 2nd and one at the start of the 3rd) to give them a 5-4 win. Johnstown did pull within one goal with a minute left in the game, but it wasn't enough.

That night Johnstown found goals from Connor Wright, Brandon Reinholz, Cody Gylling, and Mitch Knotny.

In goal for Johnstown was Chris Truehl, before he was pulled for Colin Brennan.

It was also a physical game, as both teams had a combined 99 penalty minutes, which included a Jake Fairchild fight.

Johnstown also had a game on Sunday afternoon, but the opponent was the Soo Eagles. Johnstown also lost this game 5-4. The Tomahawks were up 3-1 only to see the Eagles come from behind. Like vs. Port Huron, the Tomahawks scored a late goal to make things interesting but couldn't tie the game before the final buzzer.

Cody Gylling scored two goals,  Jordan Watt had a power play, and Cobi Smith-Mass score a penalty shot.

In net was Chris Truehl, stopping 25 of 30 shots.

Tomahawks' Cup Day 2

Action on day two saw Richland beat Bishop McCort 6-3.

In the Championship game, Westmont beat Johnstown by the score 7-3, making them the first ever Tomahawks' Cup Champion.

Here's the official Tomahawks press release about the two games.

Three Tomahawks Selected for Top Prospect Tournament

The NAHL released the rosters for the 2014 Top Prospect Tournament behind held on Februray 17th and 18th. The Tomahawks' have three players attending the tournament this season. Mitch Hall, Cody Bentzel, and Brandon Reinholz will represent the Tomahawks.

These are three great picks to attend the tournament as all three are in their last year of junior hockey and will have a chance to showcase their skill in front of college and pro scouts.

You can read the official NAHL press release here and to look at the  rosters for the North, South, Central, Midwest, and U18.

Last season JB Baker was selected for the U18 team from the Tomahawks, this year the Tomahawks have no one on the U18 roster.

Johnstown sent four players to the tournament last season. They were Cody Gylling, Mitch Knotny, Andrew McDonald, and Casey Nelson.

Cody Gylling will head to the two games again this year for Amarillo.

Omar Mullan and Jesse Kessler will play for team Midwest this year.

Evan Hesse who played nine games for the Tomahawks last season will play for team Central.

January 27, 2014

Tomahawks Drop Two Games vs. Michigan and Tomahawks' Cup Day 1

Tami Knopsnyder 2014 Copyright
We're now in the part of the season where every game matters, and the race for a playoff spot is a tight one. Last season six teams in the North division made the playoffs. This year only the top four will move on to the first round.

Port Huron looks like they might keep the number one spot from here on out, but the battle for spots two through four is heating up.

After Johnstown was swept this weekend, Michigan took over second place. Johnstown now sits in third place with Soo only one point away from tying Johnstown. To make things even more interesting, Springfield is only three points away from Johnstown.

So the race is heating up for sure, and this is the worst time to go into a funk, which the Tomahawks are finding themselves in now. Johnstown has lost three in a row and has only won one game in their last six.

The Tomahawks seem to have a new injured player every game that isn't helping them stay consistent, but they must find a way to put wins together or they will find themselves out a playoff spot come the end of the season.

Johnstown is second in the North division in goals scored with 118, but have given up 127, which is only one goal behind Soo for most in the division. Simple answer would be, keep scoring, but work on the defensive side of things and they should be fine.

If things were simple though, the 60-game regular season wouldn't be a challenge.

For the Tomahawks there's a lot on the line, and a ton to play for, which the players should use as motivation to get the job done. Currently there are seven players that are playing their last year of junior hockey. This could be their last chance to play a game they love and go out as champions.

Also, as the rest of the players younger than them, they are trying to earn college commitments. College teams love winners. Amarillo is one of the best teams in the league and already have nine commitments this year. Johnstown pulls together a great ending to this season and you'll seen more players secure college commitments.

Anther reason to turn this around, or use as motivation to give their all and climb up the standings, is the fans. Johnstown has the third best attendance in the league, and best in the division. The city of Johnstown hasn't won a hockey championship since the 1974-75 season.

Bring a championship back to Johnstown and these players will go down in history. Also, Johnstown hasn't made it to a final since 1988-89, the first year the Chiefs were in the ECHL.

This season, the NAHL playoff format is different from years past, there is no more tournament style in the finals, among the top division winners. The best team in round three and four hosts at their own building the entire round. This means that the home fans will have a chance to see their team win on their own ice for the time in several years, in the NAHL.

How great would that be for Johnstown.

The Tomahawks head on the road this upcoming weekend vs the Port Huron Fight Falcons. They'll then have a week off before playing back at home vs Michigan and Wenatchee.


Johnstown had a new player in the lineup this weekend. Jake Houston. He recorded an assist in his first game with the team on Friday. In two games this weekend he was a plus 1. Houston was playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite team before getting called up to Johnstown.

Game 1- Michigan 2-1 (boxscore, official game press release)
Game 2- Michigan 4-2 (boxscore, official game press release, Jon Kohan's Tribune-Democrat Review)

Player Stats:


Tomahawks' Cup Day 1:

(Tomahawks' Day 1 press release here)

First day of the two day tournament is over and saw Johnstown beat Bishop McCort 7-3. The second game saw Westmont beat Richland 5-1.

Tonight Westmont will battle Johnstown in the championship game while McCort and Richland will square off in the consolation game.

First game is at 5:30pm and the championship is at 7:30pm at the War Memorial.

Westmont is a really good team and we'd say most of the team could probably try out for the Tomahawks if they wanted to. For Johnstown, we really liked Tre Pridgen, Devin Smith, and Vince Walters.

After each game a few Tomahawks' players awarded the "Player of the game" from each team, a Tomahawks' hat and bobble head.

Another reason why the Tomahawks are the best organization in the league. They always seem to do the little things right.


January 23, 2014

Weekend and Tomahawks' Cup Preview

The last time the Johnstown Tomahawks played at the War Memorial was on New Year's Eve, vs. the Michigan Warriors. The Tomahawks won that game, 4-1, and swept the series.

After another month long road trip, the Tomahawks will once again faceoff against the Michigan Warriors at the War Memorial. The Tomahawks will play Friday and Saturday, then host the first Tomahawks' Cup on Sunday and Monday.

We're going to take a look at those games but first let's take a closer looking at the two NAHL games this weekend.

The Warriors have already played a game this week, as they visited Port Huron on Wednesday, winning 4-1.

The Warriors also made a trade since the last time the two teams met in Johnstown. The Warriors traded goaltender Dillion Kelley to the Austin Bruins.

Kelley played four of the six games vs. Johnstown this season for Michigan. In those four games, he was 2-2 with a save percentage of .924.

Michigan is currently on a three game winning streak and is 4-4-2 in their last ten games.

Johnstown comes into the weekend having split in Port Huron last weekend. In their last ten games, they have a record of 5-5-0.

At home, this season Johnstown is an impressive 12-6-1.

This will be the first time Johnstown fans get a look at 2013 first round NAHL draft pick Casey Linkenheld, who joined the team a couple weeks ago while on the road.

Tristan Ramage and Logan DeJong are also still currently listed on the team's roster.

Johnstown is 4-2 this season vs. Michigan.

Here's the head to head stats, and after those we'll take a look at the Tomahawks' Cup matchups.

Previous Meetings:

October 11- Michigan 3-2 (boxscore)
October 12- Johnstown 4-3 SO (boxscore)
December 20- Michigan 4-1 (boxscore)
December 21- Johnstown 2-1 (boxscore)
December 30- Johnstown 3-2 (boxscore)
December 31- Johnstown 4-1 (boxscore)

Michigan is 5 for 32 on the power play vs. Johnstown this season.
Johnstown is 5 for 36 on the power play vs. Michigan this season.

Player Stats:




NAHL Top Prospects Coaches and Team Breakdown Announced

The coaches for the North division this season will be Port Huron's Mike Gershon and Michigan's Moe Mantha. The Tomahawks will send three players to the showcase this season. The players will be named at a later dated. You can see the whole press release here.

Tomahawks Cup Preview:

The Tomahawks are holding the first Tomahawks' Cup this weekend, which four local high school teams will compete in. This is a great chance to see some local hockey and possibly some future Tomahawks' players.

Cody Boyd, and Corey Schafer both played for local high school teams before moving on to Junior hockey. Boyd played for Richland and Schafer played for Westmont.

Tre Pridgen, who plays for Johnstown, tried out for the Tomahawks this past off season.

Check out the official team press release here.


Bishop McCort vs Johnstown 5pm
Richland vs. Westmont 7pm

Consolation Game 5:30pm
Championship Game 7:30pm


Richland competes in the LMHL. Currently this season they have a record of 8-3-1 good for 3rd place.

Player Stats:


Johnstown plays in the LMHL and have a record of 10-0-1, good for 2nd place. (one point behind for first)

Player Stats:


Westmont plays in the PIHL and has a record of 9-4-2, good for first place.

Player Stats:

Bishop McCort

Bishop McCort plays in the PIHL and has a record of 2-11-0, which is last place in their division.

Player Stats:


January 20, 2014

Johnstown Tomahawks End Road Trip with Split

Tami Knopsnyder 2014 Copyright
Johnstown and Port Huron remain even this season against each other as the teams split another weekend against each other. On Friday night, Johnstown got the upper hand with a 4-2 win. Then on Saturday it was Port Huron who was able to get two points, 5-0.

Game 1- Johnstown 4-2 (boxscore, official game story)
Game 2- Port Huron 5-0 (boxscore, official game story)

---Alex Blankenburg has a season record of 12-2 this season. Both of his losses have come against Johnstown.

---Cody Bentzel scored his second goal of the season on Friday night, giving him two on the season. Last year he only had one goal. Bentzel also has tied his point total from last season, five. He scored five points in 50 games last year compared to doing it this season in only 41 games. He's also a plus 2 this year.

---Logan Hudson dropped the gloves for the first time in his NAHL career on Saturday night vs. Matt Seidel. You can see the fight here. Hudson is the darker player throwing all the punches.

---Alex Okicki played a little over 15 minutes on Saturday night. With seconds to go in the game he was given a game ejection for spearing.

---Johnstown was 1 for 10 on the power play this weekend. Port Huron was 2 for 10.

---Logan DeJong joined the Tomahawks this weekend on defense. DeJong tried out with the team this off-season. In two games this weekend he had no points and was a minus 2.

---Johnstown is back home this upcoming weekend against the Michigan Warriors. It's also Jason Spence Bobblehead night on Friday night.

---There are 19 games left in the regular season.

---Last season Johnstown won a total of 27 games. So far this year they're at 22 wins.

---Tami Knopsnyder was in Port Huron this weekend and you can check out all her game photos here.

We of course have updated the alumni stats which you can also check out on the alumni page.

Player Stats:



January 16, 2014

Tomahawks Look to Get Back on Track Against Fighting Falcons

Game photos by: Tami Knopsnyder 2014 Copyright

After getting swept last weekend vs. the Springfield Jr Blues, the Johnstown Tomahawks are looking to put together a better effort in Port Huron. Last season Johnstown couldn't beat Port Huron, but have had better luck this year.

This is the last weekend on this latest road trip before Johnstown comes back home to face the Michigan Warriors.

Port Huron sits in first place of the North division with a record 22-8-7, good for 51 points. At home this season, the Fighting Falcons have a record of 11-3-3.

Johnstown currently sits in second place in the North division with a record of 21-16-2, good for 44 points. On the road this season, the Tomahawks have a record of 9-10-1.

Injury Updates:

Shane Cuckovich who's been out of the line up since Janurary 5th could possibly come back into the Tomahawks lineup this weekend.

Alex Jaeckle is still on the injury shelf and won't be back in the lineup for at least another 3-4 weeks. Both players are recovering from upper body injuries, and the Tomahawks' staff want to make sure they are both 100% before they get placed back into the lineup.

Previous Meetings:

Sept 14- Port Huron 3-1 F (boxscore)
Sept 15- Port Huron 5-1 F (boxscore)
Nov 2- Port Huron 4-1 F (boxscore)
Nov 3- Johnstown 4-3 OT (boxscore)
Nov 22- Johnstown 4-3 F (boxscore)
Nov 23- Johnstown 3-2 SO (boxscore)
Dec 13- Port Huron 5-3 F (boxscore)
Dec 14- Johnstown 3-1 F (boxscore)

Head to Head Stats:

Special Teams:

Port Huron is 7 for 40 on the power play this season vs. Johnstown.

Johnstown is 4 for 26 on the power play this season vs. Port Huron.

Port Huron


Current Standings:

Shane Bednard

This weekend Shane Bednard was given an Honorable Mention as one of the Top NAHL North Division Stars of the Week. In two games last weekend, Bednard had 5 points (1 goals, 4 assists). He was also a plus 4.

The top star of the North Division last week was Soo Eagles' Sandis Zolmanis. In two games he had 3 points (3 goals). He was also an even rating.

Chris Truehl Wins Weekly Top Honor

This week former Johnstown Tomahawks' goaltender was named the Atlantic Hockey Association Rookie of the Week, helping Air Force to sweep Army. Truehl only allowed three goals in two games. Here's the link to the full story and other college award winners.

North Division Scoreboard:


Port Huron



Port Huron



January 12, 2014

Johnstown Ends Weekend Empty-handed

It was not a good weekend for the Johnstown Tomahawks has they lost both games vs. the Springfield Jr Blues. There wasn't many bright spots except for a few, which we'll take a look at in a moment.

This weekend saw a couple new faces in the lineup but to the hardcore Johnstown fans their names are very familiar. Tristan Ramage joined the team this weekend on the blueline, and up front at forward, 2013 NAHL first round draft pic, Casey Linkenheld dressed for the team on Saturday night.

Game 1- Springfield 5-4 F (Boxscore, Official Team Press Release)
Game 2- Springfield 4-2 F (Boxscore, Official Team Press Release)

Johnstown is now 5-5 in their last ten games and only 1-4 in their last five. Things don't get any easier as they will face the Port Huron Fighting Falcons next weekend.

Sure, the team is battling some injuries right now and are in the middle of a very long road trip, but you can't make excuses for the recent losses. There's nothing the team can do now except work hard this week and step up their game in Port Huron.

The good from this weekend:

---Newcomer Tanner Barnes had two points in two games for the Tomahawks, scoring an assists on Friday night, and a goal on Saturday night. He was also a plus one.

---Shane Bednard continues his hot play, adding a goal and four assists this weekend to give him 32 points now on the season.

---Matt Meier had a goal and three assists this weekend bring his point total to 27 on the season thus far.

---Tristan Ramage was an even this weekend and had two penalty minutes in his first action with the Tomahawks.

The Bad:

---Alex Okicki started both games this weekend but was unable to finish either game. He was pulled after two periods on Saturday night. He got the loss in that game. He was pulled also pulled in Friday's game only after playing 26:18, and making 15 stops on 18 shots. Moore would get the loss after the team tied the game only to give up the lead later in the third period.

---Special teams. Johnstown went 1 for 8 on the power play while Springfield were 4 for 14. (three of those goals coming on Friday night).

---On Friday night the Tomahawks were outshot in the third period 15-1. (Though their only shot on net tied the game at 4, via Dakota Menslage shot.)

Final Thoughts:

All teams go in a funk at least once a season. The good teams find a way to get out of it and back on the winning track. The Tomahawks will see what they're made off this upcoming weekend. We expect to see a very hungry Tomahawks' team in Port Huron. Except for two more games against the Wenatchee Wild, the rest of the game this season the Tomahawks will play in are division games, so getting back on the winning track is a must.

Though Okicki seemed to be out of it this weekend, he's proven to be a good goaltender in this league and we feel he'll be fine.

It'll be interesting as well to see what Linkenheld does as he is a player that the Tomahawks picked first overall this past off-season and had very high hopes for. He could add an extra scoring punch to this roster.

P.S. We're adding Omar Mullan to the Alumni Stat updates. You can see those updated stats from this weekend here . So far it looks as if the trade has worked out for both teams.

Current Standings:

Player Stats:


January 9, 2014

Johnstown vs. Springfield, Award Winners, and Much More

After a disappointing weekend vs Soo where the Tomahawks could only muster up two points out of the possible six, the team heads to Springfield, IL to battle the Jr Blues.

The Tomahawks and Jr Blues have played each other four times this season, all taking place back here in Johnstown. The Tomahawks have also won all four games this season.

Springfield comes into the weekend one game above .500, with a record of 16-15-4. This year at the Nelson Center, the Blues have a record of 8-5-2. Johnstown on the road this season is 9-8-1, with an overall record of 21-14-2.

Previous Meetings:

October 5- Johnstown 3-2 F (Boxscore)
October 6- Johnstown 3-2 F S/O (Boxscore)
November 8- Johnstown 5-1 F (Boxscore)
November 9- Johnstown 6-5 F (Boxscore)

Head to Head:

Johnstown is 1 for 10 on the power play vs. Springfield.

Springfield is 5 for 15 on the power play vs. Johnstown.

Johnstown has out-shot Springfield 117-96.

Springfield Leaders

Johnstown Leaders


News and Notes:

Mullan Traded to Wenatchee

The Tomahawks will have a new face in the line up after they added forward Tanner Barnes from the Wenatchee Wild in exchange for Omar Mullan. For full details check out our post about the move we wrote earlier this week.

---The Pittsburgh Penguins were in Vancouver on Wednesday night, and current Penguins' trainer Dana Heinze, who used to work for the Johnstown Chiefs, and is a native of Johnstown, met up with former Tomahawks' forward Cody Boyd.

---Alex Okicki was the North Division's 2nd star of the week. The first star went to Port Huron's Jonathan Kopacka.

---Shane Bednard was a honorable mention for NAHL Forward of the Month (December). In 9 games Bednard scored 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists).

---Mitch Hall was named NAHL Defenseman of the Month Runner-Up (December).  Hall appeared in 9 games scoring 7 points (1 goal, 6 assist) and was a plus 8. He also had a five game point streak.

Player Update:

Colin DeAugustine is currently 5-5-4 with a GAA of 3.49 and a save percentage of .881 this season with Youngstown.

Tristan Ramage, Tomahawks tender for next season who also tried out for the team this years has appeared in 19 games for the Esmark Stars. In those 19 game he as 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) and 18 penalty minutes.

Peter Halash

This was a very sad and tragic week in the NAHL as Peter Halash, current forward for the Topeka RoadRunners, passed away in a car crash on Sunday night.

You can read the team's tribute to the 19-year old forward here.

Both Alex Jaeckle and Shane Bednard were teammates with Halash while playing for Team Michigan and played against him several times while playing for their high school hockey teams.

The Johnstown Tomahawks, other teams in the NAHL, and leagues around the world have reached out and sent their condolences to the team and the family of Halash.

Halash's last game was on Saturday night vs Wichita Falls in which he scored the games first goal.

In this week's NAHL Plays of the Week, his goal was included in the last clip. Here's the link to the video.

For more information you can visit the Topeka RoadRunners official website and the Topeka Capital Journal. 

North Division Scoreboard:







Port Huron


Port Huron