December 28, 2017

In-Depth: Where Are They Now (2013-2014) Alumni Update

This is the second article in our six part series about every Johnstown Tomahawks' alumni. Each post we're looking at a different Tomahawks team. This post we check out the 2013-2014 Johnstown Tomahawks, the 2nd year team.

Just like the first post which looked at all 37 players from the 2012-2013 season, we'll be breaking this list into three categories. Players that, as of 2017-2018, are still playing hockey, guys that have made it to the pro ranks, and guys that are no longer playing.

We'll cover every player, from the most well known, to guys who played just one game with the team.

The 2013-2014 season saw a total of 42 players appear in at least one game for the Hawks. Some of the players listed where also listed in the 2012-2013 team. For those players, they'll be listed again here, but with a link to the other article if you'd like to find out more information about them.

This was the last team Jason Spence coached. After this season, in which the team finished with a record of 28-27-2-3, the team decided not to extend Spence's contract. Assistant coach, Mike Letizia was promoted to head coach and has been the team's head coach since since the 2014-2015 season.

If I have something wrong, or you have additional information on a player(s), please feel free to comment below, e-mail ( or tell me on TheTomablog's social media (Facebook Twitter Instagram) so I can update the information.

Thank you to the few readers who did just that for last week's article!

Let's get started.

No Longer Playing

Cody Gylling

We covered him during the 2012-2013 alumni article which you can read here.

Dakoda Menslage

We covered Dakoda in the 2012-2013 alumni article which you can read here.

Zachary Wallace

We covered Zachary in the 2012-2013 alumni article which you can read here.

Shane Cuckovich

Shane was a solid defensman during his time in Johnstown. His last season of junior hockey saw him bounce around the NAHL playing for a total of three teams, including the Tomahawks.

Cuckovich was an assistant captain for the team in 2014-2015 but only played in eight games for Johnstown before he was traded to the Wenatchee Wild on November 7, 2014.

Cuckovich is currently a college student at Oakland University (since 2015) where he's studying mechanical engineering. 

Brady Bender

Bender spent two season with the Tomahawks and was the team's captain in his second season. Bender was more of a defensive defensman and put up the same point totals in both seasons.

His plus/minus rating dropped severely from his first year to his second, though the 2014-2015 season was the worst season the Tomahawks had until this currently season. It was also Mike Letizia's first year as the head coach of the Tomahawks.

Bender played division three hockey after his time in Johnstown but only for one year.

Collin Finkhouse 

Finkhouse spent most of his time in Johnstown in-and-out of the lineup. 

He would move on to play division two hockey at Grand Valley State University where he studied mathematics and general finance. 

He currently lists on Facebook that he's working at Magna International. 

Forest Donovan 

Donovan only played a half of season with the Johnstown Tomahawks. He was a 2013 NAHL draft pick of the Johnstown Tomahawks. He was picked in the 6th round, 131 overall, and the Tomahawks' third pick (out of six) of that year's draft.

He's currently attends UC Berkley and will be a 2019 graduate.

Ryan McNeely 

Only played in eight games for the Tomahawks after being acquired from the Minnesota Wildnerness in exchange for Jaycob McCombs.

He was released by the Tomahawks on December 22, 2013. From there he'd played for the Phoenix Knights before moving on to college hockey.

Griffin Leach 

Leach only played two games for the Tomahawks before the team transferred him to the NA3HL's Sugar Land Imperials on 9/23/2013.

Eric Hewitt 

It's not shown on his stats below, but Hewitt played two games for the Tomahawks during the 2013-2014. Both games were away while the team was visiting the Port Huron Fighting Falcons. Hewitt did not register any points but was a plus 1.

I can't tell you anything more than that as Hewitt never played a home game. After playing the two games on 1-31-14 and 2-1-14, Hewitt was officially released by the team on 2-12-14.

Logan DeJong 

DeJong was listed as an affiliated player for the Tomahawks and saw action in two games for the team. Just like Hewitt, both of the games he played for Johnstown took place on the road at Port Huron, this time in the middle of January.

Connor Gilmartin 

Gilmartin saw limited time in Johnstown, having only played in a total of four games where he didn't register a point. 

He was released by the team on 12/22/13.

As you'll see down below, he did turn pro after his junior hockey career when he played two games for Lippe-Hockey-Hamm, a team based in Germany. That only lasted a total of two games.

Trevor Heuser 

Heuser first came to the Tomahawks during the 2012-2013 off-season, when Johnstown traded Ian Spencer to the Corpus Christi Ice Rays, a team that Ian Spencer would not play for.

Heuser only played seven games for the Tomahawks before he was released on 12-7-2013. After begin cut by Johnstown, he rejoined the Ice Rays and played three more season with the team before aging out.

Zach Geiger 

Geiger might be one of the only players to play more than a handful of games for the Tomahawks and not register any points. 

The most memorable moment of Geiger's time in Johnstown was when he was involved in a line-brawl that took place before the opening faceoff. That game happened on 1-25-14 as the Tomahawks hosted the Michigan Warriors at the War Memorial Arena. In total, Geiger picked up 15 of his 22 penalty minutes during that pre-game fight. Cody Bentzel was the other Tomahawks player to drop the gloves on Johnstown's side.

Both Bentzel and Geiger were thrown out of the game because of the fight. You can see the boxscore of that game here. The Tomahawks would lose the game by the final score of 4-2

Still Playing

Jake Houston

Houston spent parts of three seasons with the Tomahawks, though he only played one full season in 2014-2015 for the team.

He joined Johnstown in 2013-2014 for four games after being called up from the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U18, a team that the Tomahawks have recruited several players from throughout the years.

After playing three games for the Tomahawks in 2015-16 he was traded to the Amarillo Bulls of the NAHL. 

Currently in his second college year, Houston plays for Ohio University, a Division III hockey program.

Alex Okicki

If you were to rank all the goalies that the Tomahawks have had in their six year history, Okicki would easily be in the top five for Johnstown.

Before he joined the Tomahawks he played for the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings who's last year in the league was Johnstown's first year in the NAHL.

Being familiar with Okicki, the Tomahawks signed him to their team during the offseason when all of Kalamazoo's players were allowed to sign to other teams, since the K-Wings were no longer a team.

Okicki only played one season for the Tomahawks as he was aging out at the end of the season. Out of the 60 game regular season, Okicki played in 42 games for Johnstown, posting a record of 21-15-3 and a save percentage of .918.

21 wins in one season was a Tomahawks goalie record that would last until last season when Drew Hott posted 24 wins for the Tomahawks. For Tomahawks starting goalies, Okicki's save percentage is second best behind Truehl's save percentage of .923.

As you can see in the stats below, Okicki would go on to play college hockey at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for three seasons before transferring to Kent State University this season. Both school's programs are DIII.

Tyler Basham

Basham is another player that spent only one season in Johnstown before aging out and heading on to college hockey. Unlike most of the Tomahawks' alumni, Basham, a Canadian native, went back home to played college hockey in Canada.

Basham is in his fourth year with Simon Fraser University. He's put up good scoring numbers at Simon Fraser being a point-a-game player for two seasons and coming close to those totals in 16-17.

Shane Bednard

Shane was a player that attended one of Johnstown's pre-draft tryout camps and was so impressive that the team tendered him to make to make sure they didn't miss out on him and lose him to another team in the NAHL draft.

Bednard only played one season for the Hawks before he moved up to the USHL (the highest level of junior hockey in the United States).

Bednard's 51 points with Johnstown in a single season ranks him 5th in team history for that many points in one season. At the time, it was a record setting amount as he passed Gylling's single-season point total of 45 the year prior.

While he was a big point producer in juniors, he hasn't been at the college level. There are several factors on why that might be the case. How much ice time he's getting. What his role on the team is. The list could go on.

It'll be interesting to see if Bednard makes the jump to pro hockey after his DI college career is over. Currently he's in their junior year.

Matt Meier

Meier along side Bednard gave the Tomahawks a deadly combo back in 2013-14. Rounding out that first line, from what I remember, was Joe Drabin. One of the Tomahawks most talented lines to hit the ice for Johnstown.

Meier is yet another player that only played one season for the Tomahawks. The following season he moved on to college hockey to play for Air Force. Meier played in 15 games for Air Force before leaving the school to go back to junior hockey, as he still was under 20-years-old.

Meier would play two full season in the USHL for the Omaha Lancers before returning to college hockey, this time at Bowling Green State University where he's currently teammates with four other former Tomahawks' players (Ryan and Shane Bednard, Niko Coffman, Casey Linkenheld).

Mitch Hall

We covered Mitch during the 2012-2013 alumni article which you can read here.

Brandon Reinholz

We covered Brandon during the 2012-2013 alumni article which you can read here.

Jordan Watt

We covered Jordan during the 2012-2013 alumni article which you can read here.

Joe Drabin

Drabin was a physical, scoring player for the Tomahawks that played two season with the team. In total he appeared in 113 games for the Tomahawks (tied for 7th most all-time) and scored 62 points.

Drabin played his last season of junior hockey in the BCHL for former NAHL team, Wenatchee Wild.

He's currently playing at SUNY-Plattsburgh a DIII hockey program where he's continued to put up the game type of numbers he did in his junior hockey career.

Trevor Recktenwald

Recktenwald was a solid player for the Tomahawks in his two seasons with the team. Point wise, Trevor saw an improvement from his first season to his second, scoring 19 more points and being the team's 2nd point leader (only behind Linkenheld who had 43 points in 14-15 season.)

Like Shane Bednard, Recktendwald hasn't seen the same success when it comes to point totals in college, playing for Ferris State, but just as I mentioned with Bednard, there could be several reasons why.

Josh Bowes

Bowes played two season for the Tomahawks and was a role player for the team. He was pretty consistent while in Johnstown, only seeing a two-point drop-off in his point totals from his first to second season with the team.

In college he's put up impressive numbers as a scorer with Endicott College a DIII program.

Tanner Barnes

Barnes joined the Tomahawks via a trade with the Wenatchee Wild which saw the Tomahawks part ways with, Omar Mullan. This was a trade that was beneficial to both teams. In total, Barnes would play two season for the Tomahawks, scoring a total of 42 points.

Barnes is in his second year of college hockey.

Casey Linkenheld

Linkenheld played three season's for the Tomahawks and was a very impactful player for Johnstown.

Linkenheld currently holds the record for Most Franchise Points All-Time in Tomahawks history, scoring a total of 101 points during his time in Johnstown.

The next closest player to Casey is alumni, Dalton Hunter, who scored 87 points during his time as a Tomahawks player.

Linkenheld also holds the records for Most All-Time Franchise Goals (45) and Most All-Time Franchise Assists (56).

Now at Bowling Green State University, Linkenheld has only played in 12 games during the past two season.

Cody Bentzel

We covered Cody during the 2012-2013 alumni article which you can read here.

Alex Jaeckle

Jaeckle, followed the same path as Shane Bednard and signed a tender with the team so the Tomahawks wouldn't run the risk of losing him in the NAHL draft.

Jaeckle played two seasons with Johnstown. He was a smooth-skating defensman with the team, while putting put a few points each season.

Jaeckle is currently in his third season playing DI hockey at Canisius college, where he was teammates with Cody Boyd.

Tommy Hall

Tommy, younger brother of former Tomahawks' defensman, Mitch Hall, played one season for the Tomahawks. After appearing in 29 games during the 2013-2014 season, Tommy would play only one game the following year before he was released.

He would be picked up by the Wilderness of the NAHL before heading to the NA3HL where he would finish his junior hockey career.

He rejoined his brother and several Tomahawks' alumni when he went to college to play for Hamline University. He's currently in his sophomore season with Hamline.

Garrison Sanipass

Sanipass was a big sized player for the Tomahawks standing at 6'5 230 lb.

He was returning for his second season with the team in 2014-2015 but only played two games before he and defensman Ivan Osko were traded to in-division rival the Michigan Warriors.

With the Warriors, Sanipass saw more success scoring 23 points in 54 games, as you can see below.

Sanipass currently plays DIII hockey with UMass-Boston where he's teammates with another Tomahawks' alumni, Dante Suffredini.

Trivia: Sanipass is the son of former NHLer Everett Sanipass.

Logan Hudson

Hudson was a tough defensman who was one of Johnstown's fan's favorite players in the history of the organization.

Hudson was also a captain of the Tomahawks during the 2015-2016 season.

He scored a goal in the 15-16 playoffs, in overtime, vs the New Jersey Titans that eliminated the Titans and sent the Tomahawks into the second round of the playoff's that season. That goal tied his goal total from the season, where he had scored one goal in 50 games.

Hudson holds the team record for Most Franchise Penalty Minutes All-Time having registered 412 minutes in 123 games. Tommy Horn is second with 262. 

He's also 4th All-Time in games played with 123 in a Tomahawks jersey.

Jesse Kessler

We covered Jesse during the 2012-2013 alumni article which you can read here.

Jacob McCombs

We covered Jacob during the 2012-2013 alumni article which you can read here.

Eric Tien

Tien only played in 11 games for the Tomahawks before he was released on November 11, 2013.

Cameron Smith

Smith had two stints with Johnstown. He appeared in two games during the 2013-14 season. He then returned during the 2015-2016 season after the team he was playing for the year prior, Keystone Ice Miners, folded at the end of the season. Several other Keystone players followed Smith to Johnstown as well. He then played in six games for the team last year before he was traded to the Northeast Generals for Evan Somoza.

Not shown below, Smith is playing this season with George Mason University, a DIII hockey program that plays games against UPJ. In 19 games he has 78 points (56 goals, 22 assists).

Tristan Ramage

Ramage, a former Tomahawks 2013 NAHL Draft pick (7th found) only played three games for the Hawks. He didn't have any points.

Ryan Bittner

Bittner is another player that only played in three games for the Tomahawks before being released. He had no points.

Collin DeAugustine

DeAugustine only played in five games for the Tomahawks before he was called up to the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms where he'd play three full seasons and earn a DI college commitment with Mercyhurst.

Brett Young

Young only appeared in eight games for the Tomahawks before he was released. In only one game, in 14-15, he allowed three goals on nine shots.

Jake Moore

When DeAugustine moved to Youngstown , Moore was sent to Johnstown. Though he went 5-5-0 during his time in Johnstown, his .912 save percentage was impressive.

Playing Pro Hockey



Omar Mullan 

Mullan came to Johnstown when the Tomahawks traded for him, sending Gylling to the Bulls. Mullan only played 29 games before he was then traded to Wenatchee later in the same season for Tanner Barnes.

I've listed Mullan under "other" as his current playing situation is not one I've come across before.

Mullan plays in in the Great Lakes Hockey League. Here's the info about this league, straight from the league's official website:

"All GLHL franchises are non-profit organizations organized by volunteer in their local communities. The teams compete in a 20-30 game regular season schedule starting as early as October and finishing as late as April each year.
The GLHL features players above the age of 18 who have college hockey, junior hockey, and semi-pro experience in other leagues. This provides a unique opportunity for players to continue playing hockey in a meaningful, competitive environment.
The league follows USA Hockey rules, with games featuring three 20 minute stop time periods. It is the ONLY traveling full check adult amateur hockey league in the United States."

So, as you can, it's not really pro, but he is still playing.


And there you have it. Updates from every player that played on the 2013-2014 Johnstown Tomahawks team.

Next alumni post I'll do an update for all the players that played for Johnstown during the 2014-2015 season, not including any players that I mentioned here.

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