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.









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.


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, call 814-536-4625, or stop by the Tomahawks office inside the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.


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:




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.
Michigan vs Austin 

Keystone vs Topeka

Soo vs Bismarck
Springfield vs Brookings
Janesville vs Minot


Aberdeen vs Michigan

Austin vs Keystone

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


Soo vs Brookings

Janesville vs Bismarck

Springfield vs Minot

Keystone vs Aberdeen

Michigan vs Topeka


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
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September 15, 2014

Johnstown Tomahawks Fall In Season Opener, Single Game Tickets, and Youngstown Reassigns Player

Tanner Barnes lays a check on a Keystone Ice Miners opponent during
Saturday night's 5-4 season opening loss.
(Phil andraychak/Johnstown Tomahawks)
The Johnstown Tomahawks season opener vs the Keystone Ice Miners in Connellsville Pa was filled with ups and downs, twists and turns. In the end the Tomahawks came up short, losing 5-4 in regulation.

After a slow first half of the first period the Tomahawks got to their game, and when they did it became pretty much one sided. The newest team captain, lead by example scoring Johnstown's first goal of the game. It's was a beauty, as Bender came in all alone sneaking to the front of the net. After one period the Tomahawks were only down 2-1.

Then the second period came along. If the Tomahawks can find a way to play a full 60-minute game the way they played in the second period, they're going to have teams raising a white flag. Not only did the Tomahawks score four unanswered goals in a row, the way they did it was just as powerful. Their defense was stellar. The transition game was the best we've ever seen from a Tomahawks team. The speed used by the forwards generated odd-man rushes every time up the ice.


The third period happened.

For whatever reason, the team came out flat and just couldn't get back to the way they had played in the second period (and last part of the first). Keystone battled back. Got some timely power play opportunities, and not only found a way to tie the game up, but to go ahead with less then three minutes to play in the game.

Where the team used its speed in the two periods before, the team began to puck watch, make bad passes, and had a few terrible defensive breakdowns.

What happened? We don't believe in excuses and neither does this team, but some things to just think about are: The game was being played on Olympic size ice. Eight players on the team were experiencing their first game at this level. It was the first game of the season.

That last one is key. It's only the first game of the season. During training camp this team showed hints of what they could be capable of doing this season. During this game they showed just the type of talent they have. It didn't go the Tomahawks way this time, and the Ice Miners (Fighting Falcons) continue their streak of wining the opening game of the season vs Johnstown, but it's only one game, and there's plenty more to go.

(Read the team's official press release about the 5-4 loss here)
(see the official boxscore here)

The team is taking to the road today as they travel to the NAHL Showcase where they will play four games in four days. A great opportunity to begin the first winning streak of the season, and impress the scouts at the same time.

The Keystone Ice Miners has one of the best setup we've come across. Unlike other arenas where you can't even tell teams apart or follow the action very well, Keystone was right on top of things, and had good camera work. They also, via their Youtube page, posted a full video of the game highlights.


Youngstown Phantoms Reassign Player

On Friday the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL reassigned forward Joe Drabin to the Tomahawks. Last year Drabin was the team's sixth leading goal scorer. Drabin has begun practicing with the team, thought he still has to earn a spot on this years squad. As with the rest of the players on the current roster, Drabin will travel with the team to the NAHL Showcase this week.

Single Game Tickets 

Johnstown Tomahawks single game tickets will start to go on sale tomorrow 9/16 at 10 am. You can buy tickets through stopping by the War Memorial Box Office, calling the team at 814-536-4625, or visiting their official site at

Season tickets are also still available and they start at $99.

Last Weeks Poll Results

Last week we asked who you think would score the Tomahawks first goal of the 2014-2015 season. Well as we found out, it was Brady Bender getting the job done. They incorrectly gave the goal to Zach Zech but have now officially changed it in the box score to Bender. In our poll no one picked Bender to score the first goal of the season.

Current Standings

Current Team Point Leaders

Coming up on the Blog

Tomorrow we'll have our NAHL Showcase preview. We'll look at all four match-ups the Tomahawks will play this week in the Showcase. After each game we'll then have a game review. Stay tuned and let's go hawks!

September 14, 2014

Keystone 5 Johnstown 4 F (Game Links)

Tomorrow, Monday, we'll have a blog post recapping the game, our thoughts on the season opener, and more. For now, enjoy your Sunday, and these game links from last night's 5-4 loss.

*For our newest readers of the blog, we're following the same format as last year. The game previews (or weekend previews for when there's two games in a row) will always be posted a day before the game(s), and the game reviews will be posted usually the following Monday (or the day after the game if the game is being played during the week, ex. NAHL Showcase.)

Game Links (click on blue links)

Official NAHL Boxscore (Johnstown/Keystone) Note: The boxscore reads that Zech scored the first goal for the Tomahawks. This is incorrect. The goal was scored by Brady Bender.

Keystone Rallies to Dunk Rival Johnstown in Season Opener (Mike Mastovich/Tribune Democrat)

North Division Scoreboard- Janesville vs. Soo boxscores (Friday Night)(Saturday Night)

September 12, 2014

Brady Bender Named Johnstown Tomahawks Team Captain

Also today we posted our game preview vs the Keystone Ice Miners. You can read that along with this week's poll results, Tomahawks promotion schedule, and more here.

Official Team Press Release:

Brady Bender has been named 2014-2015 team
 captain for the Johnstown Tomahawks
(George Lucas/JohnstownTomahawks
The Johnstown Tomahawks have named their team captains for the 2014-15 NAHL season, as the team prepares to open the regular season tomorrow.

Defenseman Brady Bender will serve as captain.  Last season for the Tomahawks, the Colorado native contributed one goal and seven assists in 51 games played.  He finished the year with a plus-six plus/minus rating.

“Brady has been one of the hardest working players we have had come through the organization – not to mention one of the best people,” head coach Mike Letizia said.  “He is a player who has been extremely consistent with his commitment both on and off the ice. He is someone who leads by example, but speaks up when necessary.  I am very excited to see how he thrives in this role.”

Alternate captains for the year will be defenseman Shane Cuckovich and rookie forward Andrew Romano.  Cuckovich, of Rochester Hills, Mich., contributed five goals and five assists in 48 games with the Tomahawks last year, adding 43 penalty minutes and a plus-two rating.

“Shane worked very hard all summer to come back bigger and stronger,” Letizia said of Cuckovich.  “Positivity and character are two of his biggest assets, as well as his ability to hold his teammates accountable for what they're doing.”

Romano, of Drexel Hill, Pa., joins the Tomahawks after playing for the Philadelphia Junior Flyers of the Tier 1 Elite League last season.  “Andrew has been a leader and a captain on many of the teams he has played on,” Letizia said.  “He is very deserving of this and will provide quality leadership for us this season.

The Tomahawks open their regular season schedule Saturday evening against their new in-state rivals, the Keystone Ice Miners.  The game begins at the Ice Mine in Connellsville, Pa., at 7:30 Sept. 13.

Flex-season ticket packages are now available for the 2014-15 season, with prices starting less than $99. For information,visit www.JohnstownTomahawks.comor call 814-536-4625.