Today is September 1st. This is when people can become depressed. For kids, school has started back up. For people who love nice weather, this is where you start to realize summer is over. Fans of the Minnesota Twins, maybe you’ll do better next year.
The list could go on and on. There is one thing that can give you a boost your spirits, especially the people in this area. Hockey season is here. The NAHL that is.
The offseason, which this year, seemed shorter than the rest, is finally over. The Tomahawks have been back in town for at least a week now, preparing for the season to start. This weekend the team will take the ice for three pre-season games. This will be their only tune up before the season starts the following week, in Wilke-Barre/Scranton.
If you live in the area, make sure you come out to the games this weekend, because you won’t get another chance to see the team play a “home” game until mid November. Why? The Tomahawks have a front loaded away schedule this year due to ice renovations at the War Memorial.
Sure, it’s going to be hard to have to wait until November to see the Tomahawks battle inside the War Memorial Area, but there is an upside to playing 19 straight games on the road. Lots, and lots of home games the second half of the season.
From December to March, Johnstown will play all but two weekends at home.
The Tomahawks finished last season with the second best attendance numbers in the NAHL, averaging 2,294 fans a game. It’s no secret that the Tomahawks don’t draw as well in the first half of the season compared to the second half, due to high school football and other fall activities. Having the majority of home games happen in the second half of the season can only mean good things for the Tomahawks.
The Tomahawks ended last season with a home record of 16-12-2 in the regular season.
While in past seasons we’ve compaired the previous season’s team to the new one, we can’t really do that this season. Other than a few returing players, this 2016-2017 Johnstown Tomahawks team is basicly brand new.
Not just on the ice but also off.
Rick Boyd who’s been with the team since their first season, is no longer with the club. This is the first time that the coaching staff, along with help from team president, Rick Bouchard have put together this year's roster.
Did they do a better job then Boyd or worse? Only time will tell.
The front office also saw a few changes. Katie Saylor, who was an intern for the Tomahawks and then was hired to a full time position has left the team. During the offseason she married former Johnstown Tomahawks’ forward Zach Wallace.
In her place and becoming the new Jill-of-all-trades, is Autumn Rogers.
The Tomahawks also added Derek Partsch who will take on the role of manager, sponsorships and group ticket accounts.
On the ice, the Tomahawks have only eight returning players from last year’s roster. It could have been ten but during the offseason the team let go of two players.
Adam Ostrowski this season will be playing for the Coulee Region Chill of the NAHL. Forward Luke Picek will be playing for the Springfield Jr. Blues also of the NAHL.
The players that are returning (at the time of this article) are Adam Pilewicz, Zac Galambos, Dalton Hunter, Filips Buncis, Tommy Horn, Tiernan Seningen, Ryan Glander, and Cameron Smith.
The East Division will bring back the same teams from last year, and one more. The Northeast Generals will join the east this season and be the fifth team in the division. Most likely, though not announced yet, the top four teams in the division will make the playoffs. This means, unlike last season when everyone in the division made the playoffs, all but one team will make the playoffs this season.
The Generals will have a somewhat familiar face playing for them. Former Johnstown Tomahawks’ d-man Aaron Murray is currently on the Generals’ roster. Murray played in two games for the Tomahawks two seasons ago.
The New Jersey Jr. Titans lost both their head coach and assistant coach this past offseason. With a new man behind the bench the Titans are only returning a total of two players. So, much like Johnstown, it’s hard to predict how good, or how bad, New Jersey will be this season.
As for the three games this weekend, that information can be found in the picture below, which is from the Johnstown Tomahawks Facebook Page.
We will know who wins the US election before we get to see the Tomahawks on home ice in the regular season. So if you can, make it out to at least one game this weekend, or you’re just going to have to hit the road with the team for the first two months of the season.
Note: The first roster deadline is today. The NAHL hasn’t posted any rosters on their website yet. The Tomahawks haven’t officially release their roster yet. When they do, we will post the links on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The team does have a roster of their protected players which they've updated today, and we have, but we won’t release any of that information until the team or the NAHL does.
Before I wrap things up I'd like to take a moment of your time and talk about a film project I'm currently working on. It's called Vinyl to Video and will be four short films that are inspired by popular songs. We have a Facebook page you can check out and it would mean SO much if you could give the page a like.
We'll be making some major announces about the project soon and have information about how you can be a part of the films. Please share the page with your friends and family. We're trying to get 500 likes before the end of September.
I was a writer for one of the films and I'm also doing some behind the scenes production work.
Some readers of TheTomablog have already liked the page. They are:
You're all awesome and I can't thank you enough.
This project, on top of several others (which I hope I can talk about soon) are the reason why this page hasn't been updated often. Though I'm business chasing my film/tv dreams, I do keep the Facebook page up to date, so if you're looking for the latest news on the Tomahawks make sure to check us out there.
LET'S GO HAWKS!