January 23, 2018

Tomahawks Release Goaltender

A move that was made about two weeks ago but wasn't officially announced until yesterday, the Johnstown Tomahawks have released goaltender, Britt League.

League join the Tomahawks last season and played a total of five games in 2016-17, posting a record of 4-0-1 and a save percentage of .910.

He was then called up to the USHL's Youngtown Phantoms where he finished the season.

This year it was a reversal. League started the year with Youngstown before returning to the Tomahawks in early October.

This season with Johnstown, League had a record of 2-5-1-1 and a save percentage of .889.

This move now brings the Tomahawks' roster to two goalies; Phipps and Leavy.

Leavy, a 1997 birth-year player, is in his last season of junior hockey.

Phipps, a 1998 birth-year player, still has another season of junior hockey eligibility left.

League was the youngest of the goaltending trio, as he's a 1999 birth-year player.


Personal Accounts

January 22, 2018

Tomahawks Split Series with Philadelphia (January 19-20 2018)

The Tomahawks split a pair of games this weekend vs the division-leading Philadelphia Rebels. The action on the ice was physical, as usual when it comes to these two teams. There was no love between the two teams off the ice as well.

We won't get into details here, but the Rebels were given the smallest locker room in the arena to use instead of the usual, spacious, away team locker room.  The Rebels did not stay overnight in a hotel in Johnstown either as every other team does when playing in Johnstown. This all stemmed from a, less-than-good experience the Tomahawks were given when they visited Philadelphia earlier this season.

If you'd like to know more, talk to your fellow Tomahawks' fan. It was a point of conversation around the arena both nights.

As for the on-ice events went, the Tomahawks pulled out a great come-from-behind win on Friday night, only to see the Rebels put together a comeback of their own the following night on Saturday.

Here's the two press releases detailing all the scoring on Friday and Saturday night.

Below are some thoughts/notes about the past two games this weekend and a look ahead.

Listed on the lineup chart as the fourth line for the Tomahawks, Baez, Briere, and Gorscak had an impression weekend for the Tomahawks and were the team's deadliest line.

The Tomahawks scored a total of four goals this weekend vs the Rebels and the fourth-line factored on three of those goals.

On Friday night, this line tied the game up at two, in the third period. Then they took the lead (which was the game winning goal) a few minutes later.

On Saturday, the fourth-line had the team's only goal in the game which was scored midway through the first period.

Each player this weekend had three points. Briere had two goals and one assist. Gorscak had one goal and two assists. Baez had three assists.

On Saturday night, the Tomahawks impressive penalty kill streak ended when the team allowed two goals on the penalty kill vs the Rebels.

Going into Saturday's game, Johnstown hadn't allowed a power play goal since December 16, 2017, which was also against the Philadelphia Rebels. In the span of eight games, Johnstown had gone 39 for 39. 

On Saturday night, Johnstown went 5 for 7 on the penalty kill.

Overall, the Tomahawks' penalty kill is currently ranked 12th in the league killing 80% of the penalties they take.

On the offensive side of things, the Tomahawks power play is currently ranked 17th, scoring 17.4% of the time with the man-advantage.

Saturday Night was Ninja Turtle Night at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial. A total of 3,376 fans packed the arena to see the Tomahawks take on the Rebels. This brought the Tomahawks average attendance this season to 1,996.

Below are two infographics showing you the top five crowds this season and season-by-season attendance numbers in the Tomahawks' six year history.

The overall attendance this season still has a chance to raise above 2,000 fans as Johnstown still has seven home games left in the 2017-18 season.

I believe that the numbers will probably finish slightly above an average of 2,000 fans as the Tomahawks have some great promotions for the last seven home games that should help pack 1st Summit Arena. On top of that, even though this season has been a disappointment record wise, Johnstown still has a chance to make the playoffs.

Upcoming promotions include: Faith and Family Night (Feb 23, 2018), Guns & Hoses Night (Feb 24, 2018), Fight Night (March 16, 2018), 6th Annual Pucks and Paws Night (March 18, 2018), Fan Appreciation Weekend (April 6-7).

The Tomahawks season longest home stand of nine games has come to an end. Johnstown will now take the road for the next month. Here's a look at the remaining schedule for the Tomahawks.


Personal Accounts

January 8, 2018

Five Stars from the Kenai River Brown Bear Series

After being swept by the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, the Johnstown Tomahawks turned the tables on Kenai River, another Alaska team, and swept the Brown Bears.

On Friday night, Johnstown defeated Kenai River, 3-1, in a game that the Tomahawks controlled all night long.

On Saturday night, the Tomahawks took the early lead, but then saw the Brown Bears score three straight goals in the remainder of the first period to give them a lead.

After neither team could score in the second period, it would take a valiant effort from the Tomahawks to comeback in the third period. They did just that, scoring the next three goals of the game, in the last ten minutes or so to defeat the Brown Bears, 4-3.

So, here's our five stars from this series. Sure, usually in hockey it's only three-stars, but three just wasn't enough to recognize the key players from this weekend.

Honorable Mention - David Schmidling

It was David's goal on Saturday night that gave the Tomahawks the 4-3 victory over the Brown Bears. Only his second goal of the season, he sure did make it count. It was his first goal since December 1, 2017 when he scored against the New Jersey Titans.

In 25 games with the Tomahawks he has eight points (two goals, six assists).

5. Penalty Killers

The Tomahawks penalty killers have been doing an outstanding job as of late. During Saturday's game, with the Tomahawks still down 3-1, in the third, and having to kill off a lenghy 5-on-3, the team did just that.

Not only did the Tomahawks kill off the two-man disadvantage and not allow the Brown Bears to take an even further lead, but it's this kill that swung the momentum over to the Tomahawks. From that point, the Tomahawks began and completed a great comeback, picking up the 4-3 win in regulation.

This weekend the Tomahawks were a perfect 10 for 10 on the penalty kill.

Against Fairbanks the Tomahawks were a perfect 8 for 8.

The weekend prior to that in Philadelphia the Tomahawks went 6 for 8.

And even before that weekend vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the Tomahawks completed another 10 for 10 weekend.

Currently the Tomahawks are ranked 16th on the penalty kill, killing off 77.6% of their penalties. The percentage is pretty low overall compared to what they've been doing lately because of that terrible start the Tomahawks had to the season.

4. Chris Trouba

Trouba was instrumental for the team's victory on Friday night as he assisted on two of the Tomahawks three goals.

His two-point night tied a personal high for him this season. His other two-point game came against the New Jersey Titans on December 1st.

Trouba has already passed his season point totals from last year, and he's done it in fewer games played. Last season, Trouba appeared in 34 games and registered five points (two goals, three assists). He also had 88 penalty minutes. This year, as an assistant captain, in 32 games he has eight points (all assists). He also has 72 penalty minutes.

3. Kade Phipps

Things could be a lot different if Phipps decided to join the Titans a few weeks ago when the New Jersey team was facing a bunch of goalie injuries and needed to find someone to play goal for them.

Since the Tomahawks have picked up Phipps, he as a record of 5-3-0 and a .931 save percentage. His save percentage combined with his save percentage while with the Aberdeen Wings earlier this season, gives him a .933 save percentage which is third best in the entire league.

He's been a steady force in net for the Tomahawks. In two of his three loses he's only given up two goals. That third loss, which came against Philadelphia, he allowed four.

2. Toby Sengvongxay

Since joining the Tomahawks earlier in the season, he's turned into one of the Tomahawks best defensmen and also the most offensively threatening, with his D-leading 12 points (one goal, 11 assists).

He's a very smooth skating player and seems to always be in the right position at both ends of the ice.

He currently leads the Tomahawks with a +3 on ice rating. One of the few players on the current roster to be a plus.

On Saturday night, Toby had two assists. He assisted on Carson Briere's goal to make the game 3-2 and then on Ben Schmidling's goal which tied the game.

1. Carson Briere

Briere had his best weekend as a Tomahawk scoring three points in two games. Even better, he has four points in his last four games. He's heating up at the exact right time of the season.

During this past weekend, Briere had a goal and two assists, two of those points came on Saturday night. His goal started the Tomahawks come back, pulling the Hawks within one goal. His assist then came on the game winning goal at 19:20 of the third period.

He now has eight points (three goals, five assists) in 15 games with the Tomahawks this season.