July 31, 2014

Player Profile: Brady Bender (3/33)

2013-2014 Game-by-Game Breakdown

09/15/13vsPort Huron1-5 L00000000001
09/18/13@Amarillo3-6 L00000000001
09/19/13vsTopeka5-6 OTL000+12000001
09/21/13vsBismarck3-1 W00000000000
09/28/13@Soo3-2 W000-10000000
09/29/13@Soo2-0 W00002000000
10/06/13vsSpringfield3-2 W00000000001
10/12/13@Michigan4-3 W000-10000000
10/24/13vsSoo0-3 L000-20000001
10/25/13vsSoo2-0 W000+10000001
10/26/13vsSoo3-4 L011-10000001
11/02/13vsPort Huron1-4 L101-10000002
11/03/13vsPort Huron4-3 W00000000001
11/08/13vsSpringfield5-1 W000+10000002
11/09/13vsSpringfield6-5 W011+40000002
11/15/13vsWenatchee6-4 W022+10000000
11/16/13vsWenatchee1-5 L00000000000
11/22/13vsPort Huron4-3 W00000000001
11/23/13vsPort Huron3-2 W00002000000
11/30/13@Wenatchee3-4 OTL01100000001
12/01/13@Wenatchee3-2 W011+20000002
12/06/13@Wenatchee1-2 L00000000000
12/20/13@Michigan1-4 L00000000003
12/21/13@Michigan2-1 W000+20000001
12/30/13vsMichigan3-2 W000-10000001
12/31/13vsMichigan4-1 W000+22000000
01/03/14@Soo0-3 L000-10000000
01/04/14@Soo2-3 L000+20000000
01/05/14@Soo5-0 W000+10000000
01/10/14@Springfield4-5 L000-12000003
01/11/14@Springfield2-4 L011-10000002
01/17/14@Port Huron4-2 W00000000000
01/18/14@Port Huron0-5 L000-10000002
01/24/14vsMichigan1-2 L000-10000003
01/25/14vsMichigan2-4 L000-10000000
01/31/14@Port Huron2-3 OTL00000000003
02/01/14@Port Huron4-2 W00000000001
02/14/14vsMichigan5-0 W000+10000001
02/15/14vsMichigan6-4 W000+22000000
02/21/14vsWenatchee4-3 W000-10000001
02/22/14vsWenatchee2-3 OTL000-10000001
02/28/14@Michigan1-3 L000-10000002
03/01/14@Michigan4-9 L000+12000002
03/07/14vsJanesville0-2 L00002000003
03/08/14vsJanesville1-2 L00000000000
03/14/14@Springfield2-3 OTL000+10000000
03/15/14@Springfield1-2 L00000000000
03/21/14vsSoo6-3 W00000000002
03/22/14vsSoo4-3 W00000000000
03/23/14vsSoo3-4 L000-10000000
03/28/14@Janesville3-5 L000+10000001

July 30, 2014

News Around the North Division

Here’s some news from around the NAHL’s North Division.

The Ice Miners are holding their first main camp in Connellsville this week. Today was day one of on ice activity. Practices and games will be held from now until August 3, where they’ll hold their “All-Star” game. In case you wanted to go spy on them or just wanted to check out some free hockey, the game is free and open to the public. Puck drop is set for 9am.

One player in Keystone’s camp with Johnstown ties is forward Cameron Smith. Smith appeared in camp for Johnstown last season, and then later signed an affiliate agreement with the team in late November. Smith appeared in two games for the Tomahawks but didn’t have any points. He was a plus one.

Smith was drafted by the Ice Miners in the fourth round (91st overall) of the 2014 NAHL draft.

Smith is a small but very fast forward that already has a D1 college commitment with Dartmouth College.

Soo Eagles are also in camp this week and are the last team in the North division to hold their last main camp.

Former Eagles’ forward Chris Waterstreet was recently in the news as he was invited to Washington Capitals rookie camp.

Waterstreet played for the Eagles during the 2012-2013 season where he appeared in 58 games, scoring 24 points (15 goals, 9 assists) and had 67 penalty minutes.

Waterstreet played eight games vs Johnstown, scoring two goals (both in the same game).

Logan Halladay was invited to the Carolina Hurricanes’ rookie camp, last week. Halladay turned heads with his great performance in the second half of the NAHL season last year and was projected to possibly be drafted in the NHL draft. Halladay though was not selected by a team in this year's draft.

You can read the whole article about his experience here.

Last season he finished the year with a record of 18-8-2, a GAA of 2.26, and a save percentage of .932.

Halladay appeared in net vs the Tomahawks three times, winning all three games.

Player Profile: Ivan Osko (2/33)

(click picture to enlarge)

Player Profile: Shane Cuckovich (1/33)

Below is an interview with Cuckovich that was posted on Youtube during last season. Pretty good interview.

Here's an article we wrote last season about Cuckovich coming out of the Tomahawks' first camp of the offseason.

Game-by-game breakdown from the 2013-2014 season:

09/15/13vsPort Huron1-5 L01102000002
09/19/13vsTopeka5-6 OTL101+10000002
09/21/13vsBismarck3-1 W101+20001002
09/27/13@Soo2-5 L000-20000001
09/29/13@Soo2-0 W00000000001
10/05/13vsSpringfield3-2 W011+10000001
10/06/13vsSpringfield3-2 W00000000000
10/11/13@Michigan2-3 L000-10000000
10/12/13@Michigan4-3 W000+20000000
10/26/13vsSoo3-4 L000+12000002
11/02/13vsPort Huron1-4 L00002000003
11/03/13vsPort Huron4-3 W00002000000
11/08/13vsSpringfield5-1 W000+10000001
11/09/13vsSpringfield6-5 W000-20000000
11/15/13vsWenatchee6-4 W000+10000001
11/16/13vsWenatchee1-5 L000-10000000
11/22/13vsPort Huron4-3 W00002000001
11/23/13vsPort Huron3-2 W00000000000
11/30/13@Wenatchee3-4 OTL00002000000
12/01/13@Wenatchee3-2 W00000000000
12/06/13@Wenatchee1-2 L00002000000
12/07/13@Wenatchee5-4 W00000000004
12/13/13@Port Huron3-5 L000-20000002
12/14/13@Port Huron3-1 W000+10000000
12/20/13@Michigan1-4 L011+15000000
12/21/13@Michigan2-1 W00000000001
12/30/13vsMichigan3-2 W00000000002
12/31/13vsMichigan4-1 W000+10000002
01/03/14@Soo0-3 L000-10000004
01/04/14@Soo2-3 L101+20000001
01/05/14@Soo5-0 W00000000000
01/31/14@Port Huron2-3 OTL00002000001
02/01/14@Port Huron4-2 W00002000000
02/14/14vsMichigan5-0 W000+20000001
02/15/14vsMichigan6-4 W000+10000001
02/21/14vsWenatchee4-3 W00000000001
02/22/14vsWenatchee2-3 OTL000-10000001
02/28/14@Michigan1-3 L00000000001
03/01/14@Michigan4-9 L000-30000002
03/07/14vsJanesville0-2 L000-10000001
03/08/14vsJanesville1-2 L10100000001
03/14/14@Springfield2-3 OTL000-12000002
03/15/14@Springfield1-2 L000-14000001
03/21/14vsSoo6-3 W101-10100002
03/22/14vsSoo4-3 W000+12000002
03/23/14vsSoo3-4 L01100010000
03/28/14@Janesville3-5 L011+10000003
03/29/14@Janesville1-4 L000012000004

July 28, 2014

Tomahawks Roster Set for Training Camp

The last tryout has concluded and now the training camp roster is set. (click here to view training camp roster) The players will continue with their offseason workouts and in a matter of a few weeks they’ll all reconvene back in Johnstown to begin training camp.

Three goalies, nine defenseman, and twenty-one forwards, will take the War Memorial ice hoping that come September 13th they’ll be wearing a Tomahawks’ jersey as the team takes the short bus ride to play the Keystone Ice Miners.

The coaching staff will have major decisions to make in training camp, just like they did yesterday when they had to take the roster of around 40 players and cut it down to the current camp roster.

One of the most familiar names left off the Johnstown training camp roster was veteran, Forest Donovan. Donovan appeared in 23 games with the Tomahawks’ last season. In those 23 games Donovan registered three points (2 goals, 1 assist) and had a plus one rating.

Tender Tristian Ramage was another player that was left off of the training camp roster. Ramage spent three games with the Tomahawks’ last season after being assigned to the Esmark Stars of the NAPHL shortly after the beginning of the season last year. In his three games with the Tomahawks, Ramage didn’t have any points and was an even on the ice.

As we’ve said in an earlier post, the Tomahawks are coming into the 2014-2015 season without their top six leading scorers, which means the team will look at other returning players, or new players to fill those holes.

During yesterday’s Red vs Blue All-Star game, we saw a few players that might take over the top scoring roles on the Johnstown squad. Tommy Hall scored back-to-back goals and was a thorn in everyone’s side during yesterday’s game. Hall last season played in 29 games for the Tomahawks and had five assists. A year older, and now no longer new to the NAHL game, TheTomablog thinks you’ll be seeing Hall’s name a lot more on the score sheet this upcoming season.

Johnstown’s 2014 NAHL first draft pick, Dalton Hunter, also showed exactly what he’s able to provide the team in the scoring department, assisting on team Red’s last two goal. His linemate during the game, Luke Lynch, also had two assists, and showed that the two players already have some good chemistry between them.

Zach Zech was also very impressive and coming into training camp is probably the closest to a Shane Bednard type of player as you can get. Dylan Fouts also showed why he was a player that the Tomahawks' tendered during last season.

One of the Tomahawks' first tenders of the season, Andrew Romano, played all well during this past weekend. He had two assists in the All-Star game Sunday morning. Romano played last season in the T1EHL U18 for the Philadelphia Jr Flyers U18, scoring 48 points (17 goals, 31 assists) in 36 games.

A line that didn't register on the score sheet but played well together was the line of Sanipass, Bates, and Robbins. If the three players continue playing the same way into the regular season, all three should have success in the NAHL and push the Tomahawks further into the playoffs.

Ryan Bochert also brings his scoring touch to Johnstown. Bochert comes from the Colorado Rampage U18 team where he was teammates with current Tomahawks' Brady Bender and Zach Geiger.

The camp roster has a total of four international players. Returning player, Josh Bowes (Canada), newcomers, Trevor Bush (Canada), Ivan Osko (Slovakia) and Daniel Svoboda (Czech Republic). A NAHL team is allowed to carry a maximum of four international players on their roster.

In net the Tomahawks have Brett Young, Jake Gwillim and Ryan Bednard. All three goalies looked very good and in midseason form during their time in net in yesterday’s game. All three goalies stand very tall, literally. Bednard is 6’4, Gwillim is 6’2, and Young is 6’4.

This training camp roster for the Tomahawks is hands down the most skilled team they’ve had in their short tenure. We didn’t mention everyone in camp in this article but in the next days and weeks leading up to training camp and the start of the season we hope to provide you with player bios.

Till then, let’s go ‘Hawks.

***Season tickets for the 2014-2015 regular season are now available with packages starting as low as $99 dollars. For more information you can visit johnstowntomahawks.com or call the Tomahawks front office at 814-536-4625

July 27, 2014

Tomahawks Red vs Blue All-Star Game, Boxscore

Tomorrow we'll share our thoughts on the game and what we think about this upcoming season's team. Till then here is today's boxscore where team Red picked up the come-from-behind win, 6-3.

Red Vs Blue All-Star Game
Johnstown Tomahawks- Planet Ice
1st Period Scoring
RedIvan OskoZander SorensonDylan Fouts10:16
BlueConnor EckenrodZach ZechLoan DeJong16:10
1st Period Penalties
BlueShane Cuckovich2- Boarding
RedJake Worcester2- Elbow
BlueForest Donovan2- Interference
1st Period Goalies
RedBrett Young8 shots, 1 goal
BlueJake Gwillim6 shots, 1 goal
2nd Period Scoring
BlueJon CarlsonShorthanded10:56
BlueDaniel BellafioreTanner BarnesDaniel Svobodan/a
RedRyan BochertAndrew Romano15:51
2nd Period Penalties
RedSteve Quagliata2- Tripping
RedIvan Osko2- Holding
BlueZach Geier2- Interference
BlueLogan Hudson2- Roughing
2nd Period Goalies
RedAndy Lee5 shots, 2 goal
BlueTucker Murphy6 shots, 1 goal
3rd Period Scoring
RedTommy Hall:56
RedTommy HallAndrew RomanoPowerPlay4:20
RedLuke LynchDalton HunterBrendan Loan5:57
RedDakoda MenslaeDalton HunterLuke Lynch15:43
3rd Period Penalties
RedGarrison Sanipass2- Roughing
BlueBench2- Too Many Men
BlueConnor Eckenrod2- Cross Checking
RedLuke Lynch2- High Sticking
RedTommy Hall2- Roughing5- Fighting
BlueConnor Eckenrod5- Fighting
3rd Period Goalies
RedRyan Bednard5 shots, 0 goals
BlueDavid Krejcik10 shots, 4 goals

July 26, 2014

Tomahawks Camp, Two Days Down, Two Days to Go

The Johnstown Tomahawks have been doing a great job this year of keeping the fans up-to-date on what's been happening at camp so far on the ice. For those that haven't had time or don't know where to look for Tomahawks' information, we've got you covered. Below are all the important links you should check out reguarding the camp that is currently taking place in Johnstown.

A lot of exciting news that just makes us wish that the season started tomorrow.

Remember that tomorrow morning's Red vs Blue All-Star game is open and free to the public at Planet Ice. Sure it's only a camp exhibition game, in the middle of July, but let's pack the arena anyways to show all the new players what kind of support they can expect from the city of Johnstown throughout the regular season, and hopefully  long playoff run.

Johnstown Tomahawks Official Camp Reports. (make sure to check back throughout the day for updates.

Two local players hoping to make Tomahawks' roster.

Tomahawks' GM Rick Boyd named to War Memorial's Board.


Tomahawks' Red and Blue game preview (including interviews)

WTAJ's look at Tomahawks' preparing for camp


(Click on picture for link to more information)


July 22, 2014

Classic Post: Tomahawks Unsung Heroes, The Billets

*This article was first written on July 1st 2013. Since we gain new readers every month, and have new players (and their families) joining the team every year, we figured we should post this article once again. Enjoy! *

At any level of hockey the team is built from the ownership down. If the ownership is rock solid you're setting yourself up to have a solid team.  The head coach leads the way, helping the players develop into the players they can be. Then of course your have the players themselves - the ones that hit, shoot, fight, make saves, and stop pucks. The players are the ones that put up the points, and when they win they make the coach, management team, and ownership look great. The opposite happens when the team doesn't put up the points, and can't get the wins.

No matter if the team wins or loses, there is a big part of the team, at least in junior hockey, that never gets credit. Their names are never listed in the game day program. They're never named as the "Three Stars of the Game". You'll never see somebody in the stands with their name on a back of a jersey but they are some of the most important people involved with the team. So who are these people?

The Billet Family.

The Billet Family plays a huge role in the junior hockey game, but it's something most people don't even think about or fully understand. These Billet Families aren't just "babysitters" to the players, but they in fact become that player's second family.

"We are not just using their house for a place to sleep," says Trevor Heuser, Johnstown Tomahawks' recently acquired defenseman. "We take place in family events. We interact with them constantly, eating meals as a family, helping around the house with things that need to be done, and we spend time with the kids in the family (if the family has any)," Heuser adds.

It's up to that strong ownership and the staff they put in place to find the best billet families possible. You don't want a family that allows the player to do anything they wish, while at the same time, you don't want a family that rules with an iron fist. The billet parents become authority figures, role models, and extended family to their assigned player(s). 

"We've seen players show dramatic changes in their confidence levels, grade point averages, social graces, behavior, work ethic, relationships with others, and so much more," says Rick Boyd, Tomahawks' General Manager, in a press release looking for billet families for the 2013-2014 season.

What kind of person decides to open up their home to complete strangers for eight months out of the year?  And why do they decide to do so? Each family's reason might be different but their experience is almost always the same.

One of those families, is the Knopsnyders, Tami and Eric. "We decided just a few days before (main camp) that we were going to put our house up for sale because it's too big for just the two of us," Tami said. Her husband works at The Tribune Democrat and saw that the Tomahawks were looking for families to host players for the inaugural season. The question popped into Eric's head, why don't they host a player, since their house was big enough.

"After talking it over we decided that we should go all out and fill our house. They (players) needed places to stay and we had rooms for three (players)." At first the team tried to talk the Knopsnyders out of hosting three players, as hosting three would be a lot of work. By the end of the season Tami and Eric had opened their house to a total of eight players that at least played a few games with the team, and ten more that were trying out for next year's team. Of course, it wasn't all at the same time. Trades, injuries, tryouts, and releases kept players arriving and leaving, some staying only a night, others longer.

"I think our expectations were, we could provide a stable environment for some players to live in while in Johnstown and maybe we'd go to a couple of hockey games during the season," Tami said. They did provide that stable environment but they also turned into true hockey fans. Before they had decided to become a billet family, the Knopsnyders never were true fans of hockey. Once they got to know the players and their love for the game, they fell in love with it too.

Another group that opened their home to players of the Johnstown Tomahawks was Ginger Pollock and her family. "We are a hundred percent hockey crazy family. My husband, myself, and our two boys are all fans," said Ginger. "Our two boys both play travel hockey and they both play hockey for school," Ginger added. Having kids of her own made it an easy choice to open up her home to players that are chasing their hockey dreams. The good karma doesn't hurt either.

"Both of my boys want to play pro hockey. If either of them were ever in a situation to move away from home to play, I'd be a nervous wreck. I want to be able to put some other mother's mind at ease knowing her son is being cared for and supported while away from home," Ginger said.

The Pollocks did just that, opening their door to three players during the season. Two of those spent three months in Johnstown, while the other was only in town a little less than two weeks. Unlike in the Knopsnyder home, the Pollock household already had two kids in the house. Families that have their own children have different experiences than ones that don't. These players become big brothers to the younger children of the household.

Some times players are placed into a house where the family only has one child, which can give that child an experience he or she has never had before. This is just one of the examples on how these players really do become part of the family and change the dynamic. "We tried to prepare our boys that although they would, no doubt, bond with the player(s), they also had to allow him time to himself to unwind, sleep, have private phone conversations, etc," Ginger said. 

When Ginger first opened up her home to players, her husband and she tried to see this opportunity as "just business" because of the possibility of trades and such things. That mindset though, didn't last long at all. In the NAHL, teams play most of their games on the weekends, which means that during the week, when not at practice, there's a lot of downtime and time for player-family interaction. "Two of our players really interacted with us. They ate regular meals with us and went to our boys' hockey games and practices. We also went to movies together, watched TV together and grocery shopped together," Ginger said.

Over at the Knopsnyders, the interaction was also there. "We tried to eat dinner together when we could," Tami said. She added "(A player) and I carved jack-o-lanterns together while Eric often played video games with the guys."

"We found that there is an immediate bond in most cases, as these young men are away from home - in some cases a continent removed from their family - and putting their trust in you to help them. In turn, you're welcoming them into your home and trusting that they will respect it and your family," Tami said.

Not all players are outgoing and want to hangout with the billet family 24/7. This is to be expected. The Johnstown Tomahawks try to match the personalities between the player and possible billet family. Some families, like Tami's, host several players at a time, while others take in just one. "I prefer to have another player living with me because I enjoy the company and it helps keep us both motivated," said Tomahawks' defenseman Cody Bentzel. "I was fortunate enough to have a teammate that lived with me but there were plenty of guys on the team that lived alone with just the billet family," Bentzel added.

Heuser is a player that would prefer to not have a teammate live with him. "We are around the team every day most of the time and around each other 24/7 when on a road trip. I like to have a little 'alone time' or 'down time' by myself when times of the season are very physically and mentally demanding, also I like some time to keep up with my school work and studies," Heuser explains.

With the players living with the billet family eight months out of the year, strong bonds and memories are made. Bodhi Engum, one of the Tomahawks goaltenders, stayed with the Pollocks while playing for Johnstown. "One of my enduring memories is of Bodhi playing Jailbreak outside with our boys. He was fearless and inventive with his hiding places and really gave the boys a good time," said Ginger. Engum also liked to play pranks. "He also climbed up into the rafters of our carport and waited for me to come home one night. As I got out of my car, he whispered my name and when I looked up, he was hanging over my head and scared the crap out of me," Ginger said.

It's these memories that make the business side of junior hockey hard for the billet families. On January 15, 2013, the Johnstown Tomahawks decided to release Engum from the team. "When the time came to take Bodhi to the airport, it was torture. I was sick to my stomach the whole way there.  Leaving him in that empty terminal at 2 a.m. really devastated us," said Ginger.

That's something that the average fan doesn't ever think about. When we see or hear of a trade, or a player is moved, we don't always think about the emotions, off the ice with the people involved. Just because a player changes cities and is welcomed into a new home doesn't mean they don't keep up with their former billet family.
"After being traded to Johnstown my billets were very upset to see me leave their family and the last good-bye was not easy," Heuser said about being traded from Corpus Christi. "I stay in touch with them to this day and definitely plan to keep in touch with them for awhile. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for me. It was a great experience and pleasure to be apart of their family," Heuser added.

Matt Williams, a player that stayed with the Knopsnyders, hopes to maintain contact with Tami and Eric now that his junior hockey career is over. "I would like to stay in touch with them," Williams said, adding "It was great, I felt very much welcomed and at home in a short time".

Of course it's not always a heart warming story about a player and the billet family getting along. When this happens the team steps in to find new housing for a player. The reasons this might happen, could be because of different ways of life, work schedule, personalities, among many other factors. Sometimes the billet family situation with a player can point to other factors that may have the team trading that player.
For the Knopsnyders and the Pollock's, the experience was such a wonderful experience that they hope to be billet families again for the 2013-2014 season. "Obviously, we'd rather not have seven players leave us during the season. Other than that, we had a fabulous experience as a billet family and are already changing some things about our house to better accommodate next season's group," Tami said.

"We are absolutely billeting again," Ginger said. What's Ginger's advice for making the player-family relationship work? "The main rule, in my opinion is that you can't expect to force a relationship, it has to develop from the player outward."

A strong ownership, coaching staff, players, and billet families in Johnstown, has the fan's thinking it's only a matter of time till the Robertson Cup comes to the city of Johnstown.

July 21, 2014

Tomahawks Main Camp This Weekend, and Exhibition Games Scheduled

Hockey season in Johnstown is approaching quickly. Sure, the regular season doesn't start until September 13th (away at Keystone) but roster hopefuls will be in Johnstown this weekend when the Tomahawks hold their main camp at Planet Ice.

The roster once again will have a few familiar faces returning from last season, but there will also be new players hoping to win a chance to earn a spot on the team's 2014-2015 roster. This will also be the first season lead by new head coach, Mike Letizia.

The Tomahawks will be missing seven players from last years roster who have aged out of the junior hockey level of play. Okicki, Bentzel, Hall, Basham, Wallace, Watt, and Reinholz are those players that have moved on with their hockey careers, but aren't the only faces that will be gone from training camp.

Matt Meier has moved on to college a year sooner then expected and will play for D1's Air Force Academy. Meier was second on the Tomahawks' roster in scoring last season. Meier appeared in 56 games for Johnstown scoring 43 points (21 goals, 22 assists).

The leading scorer for Johnstown last season, Shane Bednard, will also not be in camp with the Tomahawks' as he has made the main camp for the USHL's Bloomington Thunder. Bednard was drafted by the Thunder this offseason (in the first round, ninth overall). Last season in Johnstown, Bednard played all 60 games for the Tomahawks scoring 51 points (19 goals, 32 assists), which also lead the North Division.

Another leading scoring for the Tomahawks that won't be in Johnstown this season is Joe Drabin. Like Bednard, Drabin has made the main camp for USHL's Youngstown Phantoms. Drabin played 55 games with Johnstown and 8 games for Youngstown last season. In Youngstown he didn't register any points, and in Johnstown is compiled 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists).

The last face that will be missing from Johnstown's camp is former number one Tomahawks' draft pick, Casey Linkenheld. Linkenheld appeared in 21 games for the Tomahawks' scoring 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists),  5 of those points coming in the last seven games of the season with the Tomahawks.

With the top six scorers on the Tomahawks' roster from last season no longer with the team, Johnstown looks to fill those spots with new or returning talent. A few names that comes to mind that could fill those top scoring spots are tenders, Zach Zech, Dylan Fouts, Luke Lynch, tryout player, Collin Montgomery (from Wentachee/Topeka), returning players, Alex Jaeckle, Trevor Recktenwald, Tommy Hall, and Tanner Barnes.

First year head coach, Mike Letizia is excited to get main camp underway. "These players have been tasked with elevating their games with some of the departures we had from last season, and I think they are primed to step it up.", Letizia told Thetomablog. Letizia added, "Our tenders and drafts showed us a lot of different things this summer, and I am really looking forward to see how they perform at main camp."

Just because he's new in the role of Head Coach, Letizia feels very comfortable running camp as he had many of those same responsibilities when he was an assistant for the last two season under former head coach Jason Spence. "I was heavily involved in the organization of our camps in regards to players and structure, so handling these obligations is not totally new to me. As far as being the head coach for the first time it brings added responsibility that I am looking forward to." said Letizia.

Instead of taking direction from the head coach, Letizia will now be able to pick "his" team and implement his philosophies on the players. "Individually, I would like players to be themselves. Every player is different and fits a certain style. I don't want pretenders, or guys who try to be someone they are not because usually that leads to failure." said Letizia.

" As a coach it is my job to help them excel at what they are good at, taking advantage of their assets. Then, I need to teach them to do things that they previously thought they were not capable of, to better round out their overall game. This goes for on the ice, off the ice , and in the community", he added.

Main camp will run from July 24th-27th, with a "Red and Blue" game taking place on Sunday at 11 am. Just like at last season's main camp, the All-Star game will be open to the public, and free of charge. "We welcome all of our fans to stop by and see the boys in action." said Tomahawks' GM, Rick Boyd. "(We) hope that a good many of our loyal fans come out  and support the new guys as well as welcoming the returning guys back to town." said Boyd.

Last year fans did just that filling arena to capacity, showing all the new players exactly what kind of fans they can expect to play in front of all year at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

After the tryout concludes the players will all return home for the last few weeks of summer before their hockey season begins, when the players that have made the training camp rosters, return to town full time on August 16th. The players will be hard at work on the ice getting ready for their third season in the NAHL and will be out in the community taking part in local events around the area, leading up to the regular season.

The Tomahawks will also play a total of three exhibition games. Two of the games will take places in Altoona Pa, at Galactic Ice on August 30th at 7pm and August 31 at 10:30 am. Both games will be against the Springfield Pics, a team they played in exhibition last season. Ticket information for those two games will be made official soon as they are currently being finalized.

The Tomahawks will also play one game against the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms, in Youngstown. Exact date and time for that game is currently unknown.

After the main camp is over, Letizia will look to put together a roster of about 30 players to take into training camp, which will have to be cut down to 25 players and then 23 players after the NAHL showcase.

"The goal is to create a culture where the players are willing to go through a wall for each other and our organization. If we can get this type of environment, it will help our overall success." said Letizia.

In two season the Johnstown Tomahawks have an overall record of 55-48-17, and a playoff record of 1-5, all under former coach Jason Spence.

If you don't have season tickets yet for the 2014-2015 season you can contact the Tomahawks' front office at 814-536-4625. Packages start at under $99!