September 3, 2016

NAHL Pre-season game vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Thoughts) 9/2/16

Tonight in front of a packed house in Greensburg, Pa the Johnstown Tomahawks beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, 4-3. This was the first pre-season game of the weekend. Johnstown will play two more (Saturday and Sunday) vs the New York Apple Core.

Below are just some quick thoughts from tonight's game. Remember, this is just one man's opinion. Leave a comment below or talk to us on Facebook if you agree with what's written below, or if you saw something not mentioned here.

- It was great to see Cameron Smith back on the ice. The Tomahawks forward had his season cut short due to an injury last year. Smith, was flying up and down the ice and generated a ton of scoring chances for the team, especially in the first period.

If Smith can stay healthy, he'll be a great asset to the team  in  2016-2017.

- Returning player, Tommy Horn had a very good game, scoring a goal. He also had a nice hit in the corner. He seemed a little more "mean" out there tonight then I remember him being at any point last year. This isn't a bad thing. It help get the W.

- Ryan Glander didn't make any huge saves but he did make a couple timely ones. He plays a very calm style in net, much like Ryan Bednard when he was in goal for Johnstown.

Bray Crowder is a towering player out on the ice, standing at 6'6. For such a tall kid, he skated very well.

- The team played really well around the goal crease in the offensive zone. Several of the goals were scored from soft hands, and great composure up close on the goalie.

- Riley Doyon wore number 44, the same number his brother wore last year. He registered three assists in the game and has pretty good size. Seems to be the more offensive talented one of the family. Does he have the same temper as his brother? Only time will tell.

- Nick Bruce had a very strong and impressive game tonight. The Canadian scored two goals for the Tomahawks. With Johnstown loosing Lynch, Romano, and Linkenheld, Bruce might be a guy, along with Norman, that can help restore the firepower the team lost in the off season.

- The small building was filled with fans. Sad to think that there was more people at this game then what the Knights usually play in front of during a regular season game at their own barn.

- While you can be happy about the win and be excited about some of the potential you saw in the new players, it was still just a pre-season game. You don't want to get to high but you also don't want to get too low. There were a few bad things that happened in the game tonight and I'll cover those as well.

- Defensive turn overs. A lot of great scoring chances came from the Tomahawks D-men giving the puck away right in the slot. Most of these terrible giveaways happened in the first period.

- Johnstown was up 3-1 at one point before blowing the two goal lead. Again, it's only pre-season but giving up a lead was something the team did do often last season.

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It's a wonderful feeling knowing that hockey season is here again. After getting back into things tonight, and with two more games this weekend, it's going to be tough to have to wait till November to see the Hawks back on home ice.

A road trip might be in order.


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