The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Tomahawks

December 6, 2012

Tomahawks taking the road to success

JOHNSTOWN — With a two-game road series beginning tonight for the surging Johnstown Tomahawks against struggling Fresno, players spent the last couple days of a lengthy road trip preparing.

On Tuesday, the Tomahawks went bowling.

A day later, they went to the movies to watch “Skyfall” – the latest in the James Bond franchise.

Sure, Johnstown spent practice time on the ice, but, according to coach Jason Spence, activities like bowling and movies are as important to the Tomahawks’ recent success as anything else.

“Sometimes the road is good for a team. They’ve come together. They’re a real tight group,” Spence said Thursday, just minutes after the team concluded its movie night. “The players, they know each other and trust each other. They’re going hard and they’ve bought into what we’re doing.”

What Johnstown is doing of late is winning, and in bunches.

The Tomahawks (12-7-6, 30 points) have made a steady climb back into contention in the North Division of the North American Hockey League.

The fourth-place Tomahawks – a team that struggled on the road early in the season – take a 5-4-4 road record into tonight’s game at Fresno (6-13-3, 15 points), the last-place team in the West Division.

“Fresno has a lot of skill, a lot of good players,” Spence said. “It’s a really good team. We can’t take them lightly.”

Among the players on the Monsters roster is Brandon Broissot, a former Tomahawks forward.

Johnstown’s roster has seen several different faces added in recent weeks. All the fresh faces came in before the recent six-game road trip, which has included a four-game stay on the West Coast.

“When you’re on the road, there’s no way around it, you have to get to know each other,” Spence said. “You eat all your meals together. We all went to the theater. We went bowling. It’s been a real bonding experience.”

The trip started with a weekend sweep of Jamestown – the first-place team in the North – on Nov. 24-25.

“That was huge. It was real big to come off wins at the first-place team in our division and one of the best teams in the league,” Spence added. “Then we went to Wenatachee (Wash.) and showed how we could compete against one of the best teams in the west. The second game there, we couldn’t find the net but we put together two really good games.”

Cody Gylling leads the Tomahawks with 20 points (six goals, 14 assists). Captain Mitch Kontny has a team-high 12 goals and Brandon Reinholz has 11. Goalie Chris Truehl has played in 14 games and has a 2.46 goals against average.

“We have to make sure we take care of the puck,” Spence said. “There’s a checklist of things to go over before we’re really satisfied with how they’re playing. Right now, we’re trying to get better every day.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Tomahawks
  • Mike Letizia Tomahawks hand reins to former assistant

    Introductions? Orientations? Neither was necessary when the Johnstown Tomahawks named their new head coach on Tuesday morning.
    The new guy in charge handled the job for the past month and has been part of the organization since the North American Hockey League team moved to Johnstown in 2012.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAHL coming to Connellsville

    The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the Port Huron Fighting Falcons are reactivating and relocating their membership to Connellsville.
    The team will be renamed the Keystone Ice Miners and will start play next season.

    May 10, 2014

  • spence Tomahawks decide not to renew coach’s contract

    Rick Boyd didn’t look forward to his conversation with Jason Spence on Monday.
    The Johnstown Tomahawks general manager and the NAHL organization had made a difficult and potentially unpopular decision to not renew Spence’s contract as the Tomahawks coach.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spence, Jason Tomahawks won't renew Spence's contract

    The Johnstown Tomahawks will not renew head coach Jason Spence’s contract for the 2014-15 NAHL season, the team announced on Tuesday.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • horizontal hawks Fighting Falcons win playoff series against Tomahawks

    The third period of Game 3 of the NAHL North Division semifinal served as a quick primer of the Johnstown Tomahawks’ playoff fortunes against top-seeded Port Huron.
    Trailing by two goals going into the third, the Tomahawks ramped up the intensity, producing a goal early and a multitude of chances at an equalizer until the game’s final moments when goaltender Max Milosek stopped Jordan Watt’s breakaway try as the Cambria County War Memorial Arena’s horn sounded.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • ’Hawks need a win to survive

    At the moment, it’s not about advancing through the postseason for the Johnstown Tomahawks. It’s simply a case of surviving to play another day.

    April 11, 2014

  • Falcons clip Tomahawks in overtime

    The Johnstown Tomahawks squandered a pair of two-goal leads and fell 4-3 in overtime to Port Huron in Game 2 of the North Division semifinals on Friday night.
    Johnstown trails the best-of-5 series 2-0 and will try to avoid elimination when the series moves to Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Friday.

    April 5, 2014

  • Tomahawks drop Game 1 on road

    The Johnstown Tomahawks came back from an early two-goal deficit, but Jon Hall scored a third period goal to give the Port Huron Fighting Falcons the 3-2 win in Game 1 of the best-of-5 North Division semi-finals on Thursday night at McMorran Arena.
    The Fighting Falcons struck first, as Bryce VanHorn scored 1:39 into the first period. Logan Lambdin earned an assist on the goal.

    April 4, 2014

  • tomahawks okicki Tomahawks set to open postseason on road

    The Johnstown Tomahawks open the Robertson Cup playoffs tonight at Port Huron hoping to reclaim the form that enabled the second-year team to move near the top of the NAHL North Division a mere six weeks ago.
    Standing in the way of fourth-seeded Johnstown is No. 1 Port Huron, a team that planted itself firmly atop the division and never relented.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads