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!


Anonymous said...

A fun game this past weekend. It was neat following the team on the road. Haven't done that since my son and I drove up to Jamestown two years ago. We are looking forward to seeing them play Keystone again real soon. AJB

Jon Kohan said...

Agree. We hope to make to as many games in Keystone as possible. It was exciting game and the fans chanting back and forth made for a good atmosphere.

The weekend of our home opener we play them back-to-back, in Johnstown on Saturday, in Keystone on Sunday.

We also went up to Jamestown at the end of the season, and have done a trip to Michigan (maybe will do that one again this year.)

Thanks for reading!