October 17, 2015

5 Thoughts On The Home Opener vs New Jersey

Remember, all opinions are that of TheTomablog only and are not of the Johnstown Tomahawks, their staff, players, owners, etc. This blog is in no way affiliated with the team nor the NAHL.

Last night the Johnstown Tomahawks played their first home game of the 2015-2016 NAHL season vs the New Jersey Titans. Since we haven't had time to write a new blog post in a couple of weeks, we figured now would be the perfect time to share some of our thoughts on the game. The number ranking is not in any special order.

Final Score: New Jersey 6 Johnstown 5 F-OT (Boxscore)

1. Crowd

Couldn't have agreed more. It's a funny thing about Johnstown, during high school football season, home games suffer in attendance, hence why the Tomahawks had yet to play a home game. After tonight's game, Johnstown will go on another six game road trip which includes a two week trip to Alaska. Johnstown's next home game will be in the middle of November. Hopefully by then, the crowds will pick up.

Even when Johnstown has poor crowds (for Johnstown) it's still above and beyond what other teams in the league see, especially the other teams in our East Division. Last night in Wilkes-Barre they had an attendance of 270. Aston so far this season has an average of 665 people going to their games. New Jersey has 888. So as you can see, Johnstown, even on down nights, gets way more people to go to games, but for a town that's voted Hockeyville, having all those empty seats is unacceptable.

Now, people will say, and I've heard this many times before, "It's too expensive to go to games." To that I call Bull#@$%.

You can get into the game for as cheap as $9. If you don't mind walking a block or two, you can find free parking. "They charge to much for food at the arena." Simple solution, eat at home. Also if two dollars for a drink, and a dollar for a hotdog is too much money, then how do these people still go to several Penguin games a season?

Then there's people who say, "I'm not going down there to watch high school hockey." For those people I can only shake my head. Obviously they don't know the game nor understand how different juniors is from high school. Junior hockey is above and beyond any local area high school talent you'll find. For those people, maybe it is best if they stay away.

This team needs our support, or just like the Chiefs, they won't stick around.

After this article we'll be uploading our first attendance report of the season. Check it out, under the Attendance Report section. Sad to see that the attendance has been dropping every year.

2. Ref

If you're a fan of 5-on-5 hockey, last night's game was not for you. I don't want to say that the ref was terrible, but when you're wishing the ref was Jonathan Paradise, then yes, the ref was terrible. And it wasn't just towards Johnstown. New Jersey got called with a few terrible penalties as well.

On the upside, all five Johnstown goals came on the power play, which leads us to number three on this list.

3. Special Teams

Five power play goals in one game. The Tomahawks went 5 for 9 last night vs. New Jersey. Sure it was only one game, but the Tomahawks' power play unit looked really good. They didn't waste time getting shots on net, and in hockey, you can't score if you don't shoot the puck. Johnstown also did a good job crashing the net once they got their shots off.

On the penalty killing side, they allowed one goal on seven opportunities. You can't be made at that. You could say, "Don't take so many penalties". Then again, how many of those calls last night were really penalties?

The only thing I'd like to see the team do a little differently is put on more pressure when killing penalties. The Tomahawks are very relax on the PK and allow a decent amount of shots. This isn't always bad, if the shots stay from the outside, but when Gwillim gives up such juicy rebounds, and is way out of the crease, trying to cut down angles, it can be costly.

4. Coffman

The Tomahawks added another former Keystone Ice Miner's player to their roster who played in his first game last night. Niko Coffman, and boy did he have a good showing. Three assists in his debut. It's nice to have all these guys that were Tomahawks' killers last season, and even with Port Huron the season before, now on Johnstown's side.

5. Puck Pressure

This team is much faster, and has a greater ability of tracking down loose pucks in the offensive zone, then last year's team. Some of their best chances came when they got the puck deep and then took the body. When that didn't work, having a guy like Cameron Smith who can just speed past guys and take the puck to the net, is a nice thing to have.

Honorable Mention

Hudson Beatdown

In the first period, things started to get a bit chippy, and that's when the gloves came off. For Johnstown, it was Logan Hudson willing to do the dirty work to stick up for his teammates. For New Jersey, Andrew Durham did the best he could to hold on for dear life.

Durham was overly out matched, but if you play for New Jersey or are their coach you have to be happy for what Durham did. Being an assistant captain, Durham showed his team he had their back, even though that meant being manhandled buy the hard-nosed, Hudson. It was the only fight of the game, and it was a dandy.


The Youngstown Phantoms reassigned Johnstown 2015 Draft pick Justin Cmunt back to Johnstown. He was not in the line up last night due to his late arrival.

Prior to the game, to make room for Coffman on the roster, the team released forward Joe Delandro.

1 comment:

Bob Olink said...

Justin Cmunt was known in Toronto,Canada when he played for coach John Winstanley as a " mini Patrick Kane" when his team won the Greater Toronto Hockey League playoffs in eight final games. He is under the radar as a super skilled player. He might surprise the Tomahawks with his great playmaking ability .